Manila, Philippines – Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III discovers multi-billion anomalous projects implemented during past health administrations.
In a press conference, Duque expressed his shock and disbelief as he unravels a multi-billion irregularity in one of the Department of Health (DOH)’s projects, the construction of school-based Barangay Health Stations (BHS).
The BHS project was initiated to provide a functional health station in every barangay. This is to ensure access of every barangay to primary care, using elementary schools as identified sites. These health stations are accredited by PhilHealth.
However, due to seen irregularities and reports from Commission on Audit (COA), the health secretary initiated his own investigation within the department.
As per the COA Performance Audit Report, “the project establishing 5,700 Barangay Health Stations (BHS) in public schools in 2015 and 2016 was obstructed by ineligible and non-workable project sites that were not fully validated before project contracting and implementation due to absence of specific guidelines. Delayed and non-completion of the total BHS contracted again impacts on the procured equipment which remain idle or undistributed to intended school-based BHS.”
Following the result of his inquiry, Duque has requested the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a fact-finding investigation to hold the responsible officials accountable.
The DOH has also submitted documents to the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), which issued requests and subpoenas to aid their own parallel investigation. Further, Secretary Duque has sent a formal request to COA to conduct a fraud audit of the BHS project, as well all other projects included in the Php9.3B Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) dated December 29, 2015.
Duque affirms full cooperation of the department in the investigation. He adds that no person tagged in the anomalous transactions shall be spared of the investigation. Further, he assures that a “clean up” within the department, including reorganization, will be employed in the coming days.
“Heads will roll. Big names, small names, past and present. There will be no sacred cows. Heads will definitely roll,” Secretary Duque said.
“First order of business is to clean our house from within. I will continue instituting changes, including reorganization, in the coming days,” Secretary Duque concluded.