Duterte fast-tracks Covid-19 procurement process

We cannot control the things life does to us. They are done before you know it, and once they are done, they make you do other things. Until at last everything comes between you and the man you wanted to be. —The International

Paspas, barato, waray hasul. (Fast, cheap, hassle-free.)

That’s how Mommy P. described the service of a local money-transfer shop.

Now, isn’t this the way government should also be run?

The bottom line is: The people should be getting more bang for their bucks.

In a word, efficiency, stupid!

But even with ARTA (Anti-Red Tape Authority) in place, excruciatingly slow government action is apparently straining the presidential aorta to snapping point.

And so President Duterte has to order the immediate release of badly needed medical equipment and supplies in the fight against the 2019 Coronavirus disease that got stuck pending Food and Drug Administration approval.

“Na-hostage 'yung mga rapid tests that we would like to buy,” the President  said during his public address on Monday with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force, stressing that “there's a rule that we cannot use public funds to buy medical supplies, medic ines, without the FDA signal.”

He said the assessment should come from the Department of Health particularly the FDA, but “nobody seems would like to act on it in a jiffy”.

In a bid to hasten the procurement process, Duterte said he would take the risk and order the purchase despite not having been issued approval by the FDA as long as the supplies and equipment are US FDA approved.  

“I am clearing the way by ordering the purchase tutal walang FDA local. 

But what we are trying to buy outside is approved by the FDA United States of America.

The President noted his confidence on products with US FDA approval.

“So in a sense that almost all of what we eat, buy products of all sorts, pagka meron ng FDA approved, there's a mark sa FDA and galing Amerika, kampante naman tayo niyan.”

Duterte said the Department of Health through the local FDA has the task to assess the “PCR testing kits of 900 people. Essential kits and other kits in activation supplies, [PCR] consumables, seven [PCR] machines, 10 automated extracting machine and 10 biomedical freezer additional equipment for subnational and regional testing laboratories”.

He, however, said that he does “not really believe that they would do more testing. Ganun lang 'yan. And so pagka wala 'yung assessment galing doon sa baba sa DoH, hindi natin mabili. I'm clearing the way. I will ask Secretary Duque to talk to the people in charge -- si Secretary Galvez, and they can proceed to buy it immediately as fast as you can really do the procurement at this time.” he said.

Duterte stressed the urgency of having the supplies and equipment available the fact that “we are all in this, the entire world,” in the fight agains Covid-19.

As of April 13, the country has a total of 4932 confirmed cases of Covid-19 including 284 new additionalcases. A total of 242 was recorded to have recovered while the death toll is currently at 315. 

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people