The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday clarified that the Php 67.3 billion flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) is accounted for. The DOH acknowledges the findings concerning these funds, and is currently addressing the said compliance issues and deficiencies.

“The Php 67.3 billion is accounted for. Wala pong kinurakot, inilaan natin ang mga pondong ito para sa ating mga kababayan. The flagged issues are being addressed by the DOH. Rest assured, that the funds allotted to the DOH are all spent for the procurement of test kits, PPEs, payment of HCWs benefits, salaries of HRH among others,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The DOH further explained that of the Php 79.7 billion COVID funds received by the agency based on COA reports, Php 68.9 billion was utilized as of December 31, 2020 for the COVID-19 response of the government. Moreover, with the enactment of RA No. 11519 extending the availability of appropriations under Bayanihan II, the Department was still able to utilize the unobligated balance for this year.

In the end, the DOH said it has always been transparent and cooperative to yearly auditing efforts within the government. Moreover, the DOH has always complied with the recommendations of the COA.

“Bukas po ang aming tanggapan at handa po kaming ipakita sa ating mga kababayan na tama ang paggastos ng kanilang mga taxes. We take our COA findings very seriously and have been working to  further improve our processes and controls so that we can serve the public most effectively especially during this pandemic, ” said Health Secretary Duque.