Officials told: Don’t do a Binay, attend session
The chief of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) and the Bids and Awards Committee – Goods and Services head should not “do a Binay” and attend the executive session of by the Cebu City Council and answer questions pertaining to the questionable procurement of medicines, a city councilor said yesterday.
“We can’t impose sanctions but they shouldn’t be like (Vice President Jejomar) Binay and refuse to appear despite the notices in order to clear the air of doubt on what happened with the procurement of medicines,” Councilor Sisinio Andales said in yesterday’s City Council session.
Andales was referring to CCMC chief, Dr. Gloria Duterte and Department of Social Welfare and Services and BAC-Goods and Services head, Dr. Ester Concha, who snubbed the two executive sessions Friday and Monday.
He likened the two officials to Vice President Binay who refused to appear before the Senate blue ribbon committee investigation on the alleged anomalous construction of a Makati City Hall building.
The City Council extended another invitation to the two officials to attend an exexecutive session on Monday, Dec. 8. On top of the agenda is to seek answers on why the budget for medicines for the CCMC had not been fully utilized.
“It has reached our attention through reports from different barangays that the CCMC and its satellite emergency hospital in barangay Guba are not only extending poor service, but they lack the needed medicines for the patients,” said Councilor Nida Cabrera in her speech.
In last week’s budget hearing for the CCMC last week, the councilors learned that there is an unused balance of P12,538,991.11 out of the hospital’s P39,792,391.11 budget for drugs and medicines based on a report from the City Budget Office.
The same report showed that the P2.7 million appropriation for drugs and medicines for the city’s satellite hospital in Guba was not used at all.
“Why is it that CCMC failed to fully implement its purchase when the year is almost ending and the patients are constantly complaining of lack of medicines and were clamoring for its availability?,” Cabrera said.
During the budget hearing last Nov. 24, Duterte told the councilors that they were unable to use the budget because of delays in the bidding process for medicines done by the BAC. Councilor Margot Osmena, who chairs the City Council budget and finance committee, said Duterte sent letters to the City Council stating that she doesn’t need to attend the session since the issue has already been resolved.
Osmeña said the last time they called Concha to attend the session, they were told that she was out of town.
“Because of that, we rescheduled the executive session. But Dr. Duterte still said she still didn’t need to attend since it has been solved.
But we want to know how it was resolved,” she added.
Councilor Alvin Arcilla suggested that sanctions be imposed on Duterte and Concha if they continue to disregard the council’s invitation.
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