The Commission on Audit Is Now Looking Into Pharmally's DOH Supply Contracts
The Commission on Audit said Thursday it launched a special audit of the alleged anomalous purchases of COVID-19 supplies by the government, including those from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
"The special audit has already commenced," COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo said during a Senate blue ribbon hearing when asked whether there is basis to the audit, in view of the findings during congressional inquiries.
"There had been a request from us during our budget hearing in the House. We already constituted a team to look at it but we expanded it to a special audit," he added.
The COA earlier came out with a report calling out the Department of Health over deficiencies in the management of P67 billion worth of COVID-19 funds, which spawned the ongoing hearings looking into Pharmally's transactions with the government.
The report, however, was only a regular year-end audit detailing mostly the DOH's failure to comply with government standards and procedures.
Aguinaldo said the special audit team was initially given a period of 45 days to complete its investigation, but he estimated they may not finish it on schedule.
"I think it would be reasonable to expect before year-end, perhaps, baka matapos na sila," he said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon urged Aguinaldo to fast-track the special audit to help the chamber further unearth the questionable government transactions in procuring COVID-19 supplies.
"We'll do our best. I'll talk to the team if we need to expand the number of people involved," Aguinaldo told Drilon.
Pharmally is being investigated by the Senate after it bagged over P8 billion in contracts to provide medical supplies last year despite having only P625,000 in paid-up capital.