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PCMC's P1.15-B Dengvaxia funds remain intact, says COA

A Manila Health officer scoops empty vials of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia inside a vaccine storage room Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The controversial vaccine, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur and administered to more than 700,000 Filipino children, was put on hold by the Philippines last week after new study findings showed it posed risks of severe cases in people without previous infection. The drug was recalled Tuesday from local health centers following the controversy. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — A portion of the funds allocated by the Department of Health to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) for the mass implementation of the previous administration's dengue immunization program remains intact and was in fact deposited to high-yielding accounts, a Commission on Audit report shows.

Based on the COA's audit report on the PCMC, as of Dec. 31, 2016 the state hospital has a total of P1.865 billion “cash and cash equivalent” that remains intact – P1.03 billion of which is under “special high yield savings deposits,” P833.234 million under "cash on hand and in banks” and P2.084 million under “time deposits.”

In its Financial Statement incorporated in the COA report, the PCMC said part of its remaining P1.865 billion “cash and cash equivalent” is the amount of P1.15 billion recorded under the item “Due to Other Funds-DOH.”

The PCMC clarified that the unspent P1.15-billion is “intended for its various health programs and assistance to indigent patients and purchase of Dengue vaccines.”

“Out of the P1.865 billion cash and cash equivalents, P1.219 billion is restricted for the following programs and activities: a) P1.150 billion for DOH programs and assistance and b) P68.985 million for other special hospital-based activities and programs,” the COA confirmed in its notes to the PCMC's Financial Statement.

A year-on-year comparison of the PCMC's “Due to Other Funds -DOH” account shows that the amount received by the state children's hospital from DOH increased by whopping 6115 percent or to P1.15 billion in 2016 from P18.501 million in 2015.

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Former Health Secretary Janette Garin had earlier stated its was the PCMC which was tasked to purchase the dengue vaccines Dengvaxia from multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur as part of the implementation of the Aquino administration's P3.5-billion dengue immunization program launched in 2015.

The audit report, however, shows just a slight increase in the amount of PCMC's purchased drugs and medicines to P58.166 million as of the end of 2016 from P34.508 million in 2015.

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