Category Archives: COVID-19 FUND MESS

15 LOCATIONS IN METROMANILA HAVE OMICRON CASES

The Department of Health (DOH) said 15 areas in Metro Manila already have cases of the highly transmissible Covid-19 Omicron variant.

DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea de Guzman bared the alarming report during a congressioanl hearing on January 18. She, however, did not identify the locations.

De Guzman said the increase in COVID-19 cases was due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“Our latest whole genome sequencing showed that the Omicron variant is now the predominant variant in the National Capital Region,” de Guzman said.

She said Omicron has been detected in 13 of 17 regions and in 15 of 17 areas in the National Capital Region.

SURGE IN COVID-19 CASES SEEN THIS MONTH

People visit a park in Quezon City, east of Manila on New Year's Day on January 1, 2022.

DOH projects COVID-19 cases to peak end-January, may surpass Delta spike

By ROGER M. BALANZA

Covid-19 infections might peak by the end of the month based on current spike in cases believed ed to be fueled by the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant .

From initial projections by the Department of Health, the surge could surpass the previous wave of infections caused by the Delta variant, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“We have initial projections which state that at the end of January, cases will peak,” Vergeire said.

DOH: Omicron has high chance of entering Philippines

DUTERTE: We pray to God that Omicron won’t reach us

Gov’t prepared for entry of new Covid-19 variant

MANILA – The government assured it is prepared for the entry of the more transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.In a Laging Handa briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire admitted the new variant has a high chance of entering the… Read More

CHINESE Covid-19 supply contractors owe philippine gov’t P7.5-Billion taxes

Senate panel probing pandemic fund mess tells Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to form a special audit task force to conduct investigtion vs Pharmally officials.

On Thursday, October 28, during the 13th hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee, panel chair Minority Leader Frank Drilon said the Philippine government is potentially entitled to collect some P7.5 billion worth of income taxes from the P42-billion pandemic supply contracts awarded by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) in 2020. 

The anti-graft body is investigating allegedly anomalous pandemic deals by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Drilon said the BIR tax probe should zero in on officials of the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation and Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group – the two biggest pandemic contractors –to establish if they paid the right taxes.

Sara lifts curfew, modifies liquor ban in Davao City

Modified guidelines in Executive Order No. 59 issued Monday

DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Z. Duterte announced on Monday the lifting of a city-wide curfew effective Tuesday until January 15 and the issuance of guidelines for a modified liquor ban.The mayor said the modified guidelines were contained in her Executive Order No. 59 issued on Monday.“As… Read More

PALACE shoots down claims of Duterte link to Pharmally

Dismisses claims as ‘hearsay’

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, released the preliminary findings of his panel’s investigation on the purportedly overpriced medical supplies purchased by the government from Pharmally.

Malacañang on Tuesday dismissed anew as hearsay claims that the “grand conspiracy” of alleged overpricing in the purchase of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) supplies from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. would never have happened without the “imprimatur” of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Gordon said the national government granted Pharmally “unwanted benefits” when it awarded over PHP8 billion worth of contracts to the firm.

He also said Duterte allegedly “allowed his friends to bleed this nation’s coffers dry”.

Kuwentong kutsero po iyan sa panahon ng pulitika; pero kapag ebidensiya po, walang ganyang ebidensiya. In fact, ni hindi nga napatunayan na may kinalaman iyong relasyon ng Presidente sa pagbili ng mga PPE [personal protective equipment] (It’s just hearsay at the time of politics; but they have no evidence to show. In fact, they were not able to prove Duterte’s involvement in purchasing PPE sets),” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque pointed out that no less than the Commission on Audit (COA) declared that the PPE sets bought by the current administration were not overpriced.

He also said the government’s procurement was consistent with existing laws such as Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Malinaw po iyan, so kung wala pong paglabag sa batas at walang overprice, bakit magkakaroon ng grand conspiracy? Usaping kutsero po ng isang taong namumulitika (That is clear, so if there was no violation of the law and no overpricing, how would there be a grand conspiracy? That’s hearsay coming from a person politicking),” he added.

Amid Duterte’s memorandum barring executive officials from appearing in the Senate panel probes, Roque said the hearings could still continue sans the participation of those leading the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response.

Hindi po natin hinarangan iyan; ang sinabi lang ng Presidente (The hearings are not being stopped; it’s just that the President said), enough is enough at the time of pandemic. Pero nakikita naman natin na si Secretary [Francisco] Duque ay nagsasabing wala siyang tinatago (But we can see Secretary Duque saying that he has nothing to hide),” he said.

Duterte, in several public addresses, said he was not blocking the Senate panel investigation, but noted that his executive officials should no longer be involved.

He said the Senate can do whatever it wants with Pharmally, but they should leave officials of the executive branch out of it. (PNA)

COVID-19 FUND MESS PROBE WITNESS SOMERSAULTS

PHARMALLY EXEC: No swindle; Senate hearing traumatic

MANILA – Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive Krizle Grace Mago on Monday said her statement before the Senate that the company “swindled” the government when it tampered with the expiration dates of the face shields was a “pressured response”.Mago told the House of Representatives that… Read More

Pharmally never delivered damaged Covid-19 supplies, says exec

MANILA – Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. official Krizle Grace Mago on Monday said the company never delivered damaged coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) supplies to the government as the firm conducts routine quality inspection prior to making deliveries.During the hearing of the House Good… Read More