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Government questioned over failure to procure PPEs for frontliners

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
Government questioned over failure to procure PPEs for frontliners
Deputy Speaker and SAGIP party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta called on the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management to immediately procure and distribute the best protective gear for medical workers as the nation faces a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos, file

MANILA, Philippines — A House leader yesterday questioned the government’s failure to purchase high-grade personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline health workers despite the P2-billion allocation under the Bayanihan laws last year.

Deputy Speaker and SAGIP party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta called on the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to immediately procure and distribute the best protective gear for medical workers as the nation faces a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“These are sorely needed by health care workers overwhelmed by the spiraling COVID-19 cases, particularly in the National Capital Region and adjoining areas,” Marcoleta said.

He lamented that Congress allocated about P2 billion under Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2 to purchase personal protective gear for medical frontliners.

The country’s health workers valiantly fighting the war against COVID- 19 deserve only the best protection, according to the lawmaker.

With more virulent and easily transmissible COVID-19 variants, he said only medical grade N95 masks, face shields and PPEs should be given to medical frontliners.

“Our frontliners are heroes. We shouldn’t make them wait for the best equipment to protect themselves against infection. The DOH will only waste taxpayers’ money on non-medical grade KN95 masks and surgical masks because they don’t offer the kind of protection required by frontliners,” he added.

Marcoleta noted that the DBM’s Procurement Service started the procurement process as early as last January, but has yet to make any purchases to date.

FRONTLINERS PPE
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