P673.8 million worth of anti-dengue funds remain unliquidated: COA

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2018 07:26 PM

A health worker shows unused packs of anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in Manila in December. Recently, the Commission on Audit said there was a total of P673.778 million in unliquidated anti-dengue funds that was transferred to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. File/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA—French firm Sanofi Pasteur, maker of the Dengvaxia vaccine, has refunded to the government the P1.1 billion used in a vaccination program that sparked a nationwide health scare, state auditors confirmed. 

The Commission on Audit, in a 2017 report, said Sanofi returned the amount to the Department of Health in January, after Secretary Francisco Duque said the drug firm granted a request to return the funds for unused vials.

The P1.1-billion refund is on top the P556.155 million in undisbursed anti-dengue program funds refunded by the Health Department to the National Treasury, the COA report stated. 

But state auditors noted that there was a total of P673.778 million in unliquidated anti-dengue funds that was transferred to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), which is under the DOH.

The funds include P3.687 million used in the procurement of dengue vaccines, as well as funds that are already aging for at least 2 years amounting to P647.422 million and P22.669 million. 

“We recommend that management demand liquidation from the PCMC, the implementing agency of the dengue vaccine program,” the COA said. 

Meanwhile, government auditors also flagged the DOH project that aims to construct 5,700 units of school-based barangay health stations amounting to P8.131 billion.

The COA said the project was “not achieved due to inadequate planning and coordination with the Department of Education and local government units.”

State auditors noted that the construction of health stations were either not started, remained idle, not yet turned over, or lacking equipment and toilet facilities. 

The DOH however told COA that 429 units were already completed and 12 units were for turn-over to the Department of Education.