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What happened to the COVID-19 funds, DOH? Ombudsman wants to know

What happened to the COVID-19 funds, DOH? Ombudsman wants to know


The Office of the Ombudsman is summoning documents from the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to check where the COVID-19 funds have been distributed. Ombudsman Samuel Martires has filed a subpoena to DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. 

“Today we will be issuing subpoenas to the DBM, to DOH, particularly with respect to the special allotment request order doon sa budget na binigay ng Pangulo doon sa mga namatay na frontliners, doon sa budget na binigay para sa COVID-19,” said Martires in an interview with CNN Philippines.

The Office of the Ombudsman will investigate the special allotment release orders involving funds for cash benefits extended to families of frontliners who died due to COVID-19. Others to be investigated are the delayed procurement of personal protective equipment, alleged lapses that led to the death of medical workers, and the delayed reporting of COVID-19 related deaths and confirmed cases. 

Last June 17, Martires said he was ordered to conduct the probe after the recommendation of Asst. Ombudsman Caesar D.  Asuncion, Asst. Omb. Joselito P. Fangon and Asst. Omb. Jose M. Balmeo, Jr. and continue with the investigation on the DOH prior the enhanced community quarantine concerning the purchase of 100,000 test kits by the DOH. 

The DOH welcomed the investigation of the Ombudsman, stating that they will comply with all directives. “The DOH has been transparent in the COVID-19 response, including procurement transactions and the provision of benefits to healthcare workers,” the agency said in a statement.

Currently, there are 27,799 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines with 1,116 deaths and 7,090 recoveries.



Header photo courtesy of Grig C. Montegrande from

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Writer: THEA TORRES © 2020. Hinge Inquirer Publications, Inc.


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