The case stemmed from the allegedly anomalous procurement of a CT scan machine worth P24.5 million, which was awarded before the construction of the CT scan building as well as the negotiated procurement of air conditioners and electrical supply for P4.1 million.
STAR/File
20 mental health hospital execs sued over CT scan project
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty officials of the National Center for Mental Health have been charged with graft by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the allegedly anomalous P31.9-million procurement of the NCMH’s CT scan project.

Medical center chief Bernardino Vicente, clinical center head Beverly Azucena, chief administrative officer Clarita Avila, chief finance service officer Dionisio Tolentino, chief accountant Dulce Valerio, chief budget officer Godofredo Valles, chief radiologist Jenkin Go and chief engineer Esteban Gamurot were among those charged before the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday.

The case stemmed from the allegedly anomalous procurement of a CT scan machine worth P24.5 million, which was awarded before the construction of the CT scan building as well as the negotiated procurement of air conditioners and electrical supply for P4.1 million.

The lack of building and proper electrical supply left the equipment idle for two years, depriving patients of the service and forcing them to go to other hospitals for CT scan, Olga Dagunan of the NCMH employees association said at a press conference at the NBI yesterday.

An additional P1.5 million was spent for the procurement of additional works of the CT scan building.

Twelve members of the bids and awards committee and technical working group – Alden Cuyos, Jumelyn Perez, Cynthia Agustin, Belma Cruz, Publio Ploteña, Christoper Chu, Jerry Rodriguez, Arturo Salcedo, Evelyn Belen, Darin Pastor, Solidad Yambao, Ma. Charina Aberin – were included in the charge sheet.

 “The nonfunctional CT scan definitely has an adverse effect on the patients,” Dagunan said, adding that hospital personnel had to assist the patients to go to other hospitals for CT scans.

NBI anti-graft division head Catherine Camposano-Remigio said there was gross neglect of duty when the NCMH officials proceeded with the procurement of the equipment and the building without planning and engineering plans.

The machine was delivered by Technomed Int. Inc. beyond the intended date of delivery and the documents for payment were processed with undue haste, the NBI said in its complaint.

The acquisition of air conditioners also proceeded under negotiated procurement, resulting in the splitting of the contract to skirt public bidding.

The procured transformers could not be used because the machine needed 400 volts while output of transformers was for 220 volts, according to the NBI. The 40-foot electrical post from RJJL Construction and Trading was allegedly overpriced by P465,943.11. 

The NCMH failed to impose liabilities on Technomed and Gacoscos despite delayed delivery and poor planning, the NBI added.

“Mostly doctors of medicine and other experts in their own fields, NCMH officials could not feign ignorance on the specific requirements on how to operate a CT scan machine… It could be inferred the numerous badges of fraud that surround the CT scan project,” the NBI said.

Portia Baviera of Technomed, Ronald Tan  of RJJL and Ronald Gacoscos of Gacoscos Construction were among the private respondents.

CT SCAN MACHINE
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