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DBM saves P2B from purchase of Covid supplies

The Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) has accumulated P2 billion in savings from the purchase of supplies used in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, the agency explained that the savings — the variance between the allocated budget as identified by the end-user for the item vis-a-vis the awarded contract amount — were generated from March 26 to August 5 this year.

The allocated budget is determined by the requesting agency through its own preliminary market study, existing price data or latest buying price of the same item, it added.

In a breakdown, the PS-DBM said it raised a total savings of P1.2 billion in the procurement of test kits, extraction machines and other consumables.

In particular, it saved about P4 million for the Department of Health (DoH) when it procured 4,167 Sansure Novel Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kits (Sansure test kits).

The Sansure test kits were purchased from Pacific Field Hong Kong Ltd. on April 20 this year, which priced the item at P1,464.88 per test — the most advantageous price for the government based on the conducted market scanning.

The agency stressed that the DoH also accumulated P78 million in savings upon the procurement of more medical supplies from local distributors such as Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. for the A*Star Fortitude Kit, priced at P1,720 per test, and Lifeline Diagnostic Supplies Inc. for the Macherey Nagel extraction kit priced at P625 per preparation or P31,250 per kit.

“After the first procurement of these test kits, the PS-DBM under the supervision of Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher A. Lao explored the possibility of directly negotiating with the manufacturers in order for the agency to purchase medical supplies lower than what private companies in the Philippines could offer,” it said.

PS-DBM was also able to generate about P178 million in savings in the procurement of Sansure test kits at P918 per test — 45.90 percent lower than the first buying price — through the assistance of Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian.

Also, through the assistance of diplomatic channels, it was able to procure the MiRXES (A*Star) Fortitude test kits, 60.09 percent smaller than the first buying price or P925.27 per test.

The Health department also raised P80 million from the Purchase of Macherey Nagel extraction kits, which was 36.26 percent lower than the first buying price or at P433.22 per preparation.

It also saved P258 million, “giving them more budget to spend on additional coronavirus disease 2019 response items,” PS-DBM said.

“The remaining P800 million out of the P2-billion savings were from the purchase of personal protective equipment sets,” it added.

The agency stressed that the savings it generated is part of its mission to efficiently and economically procure items to fight the pandemic.

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