In response to the allegations that the Department of Health (DOH) paid the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) twice for the same set of personal protective equipment (PPEs), the DOH clarified that there were no double payments to PS-DBM.

The DOH said that it needed to procure full sets of PPEs in bulk as well as order loose surgical masks and face shields separately to protect healthcare workers in both high and low-risk settings.

The PS-DBM maintains a virtual store, similar to online shopping platforms, where common-use supplies and equipment (CSEs), like PPEs, are available for the purchase of National Government Agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs). Virtual store orders can be immediately claimed by the procuring agency.

The DOH scanned the PS-DBM virtual store and purchased loose face shields and surgical masks, which were readily available, to immediately augment PPE supplies for healthcare workers in low-risk settings.

As for the bulk PPE sets, these had to be ordered and took more time to be delivered. The PPE sets include nine (9) components such as coverall suits, gloves, N95 mask, head cover, shoe cover, surgical mask, surgical gown, apron, and face shield.

The DOH reiterates that these are separate transactions and all orders were completely turned over to the Department.

Moreover, the procured PPEs were given free of charge to healthcare workers in public and private hospitals and other health facilities, the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), and Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESUs) to ensure their safety.