Senators quiz Pharmally’s supposed same-day delivery of 500,000 face masks

Senators on Monday grilled Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. over its supposed delivery of 500,000 face masks purchased by the government on the same day a request for quotation (RFQ) was made.

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Pharmally official Krizle Grace Mago said they received an RFQ from the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) on March 25, 2020 for the said number of masks, which they also delivered later in the day.

The masks cost ₱27.72 each which amounted to ₱13.86 million, according to data presented during the hearing. The purchase order for the masks was dated April 16 last year, a fact that the senators tried to clarify but to no avail.

The delivery happened despite Pharmally having no stocks in its inventory during that period. But Mago said they were still able to push through with the delivery after firm director Linconn Ong “was able to negotiate” with a supplier.

Ong, who was placed under house arrest due to his COVID-19 infection, said he contacted a firm named TigerPhil Marketing to secure the 500,000 masks for the transaction.

However, when asked to give the name of the person he coordinated with in the company, the Pharmally executive just referred to him as “Brother Tiger.”

When Gordon asked about how much he paid for the masks, Ong dodged the question by saying that it was a “trade secret.”

“Walang secret dito, corruption investigation ito,” said Gordon as he called out the Pharmally official.

[Translation: There are no secrets here, this is a corruption investigation.]

Pharmally has been in hot water after it was revealed that it bagged billions of pesos in contracts, which included the procurement of supposedly overpriced face masks and face shields, despite only having an initial paid-up capital of ₱625,000.

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