DoH to investigate alleged expired face shields revealed in Senate hearing

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) on Monday said it is investigating the alleged expired face shields for healthcare workers supplied by a private company that was awarded more than P8 billion in contracts.

“There is no (expiration date) placed (on the face shields), but I’m still having that investigated because of the revelation of the officer of the Pharmally,” DoH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a House of Representatives hearing.

Krizel Grace U. Mago, regulatory affairs head of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., confirmed in a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing Friday the claim of a warehouse worker that the certificates of some two million face shields that expired last year were changed to 2021.

DoH Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taino said during Monday’s House hearing that the face shields were already distributed to various healthcare facilities nationwide.

Ms. Mago said the tampering of the face shield certificates had the blessing of the company management, particularly Pharmally Treasurer Mohit Dargani.

Mr. Dargani denied the allegation at the House hearing, saying he believed Ms. Mago was “pressured” by the Senate to admit about the alleged expired face shields.

“I think after what she saw what happened to Mr. Linconn Ong, one of her bosses, I think that really frightened her and put her in a position to just keep saying yes. I have not spoken to Ms. Mago so I don’t know exactly,” he said.

He also said that he didn’t ask Ms. Mago to go into hiding.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, Jr., chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said on Sunday that Ms. Mago can no longer be reached by the panel following her admission on the expired face shields.

The House originally planned to end its investigation on government contracts with Pharmally by Monday but decided to hold another hearing on Oct. 4 following Ms. Mago’s revelations. — Russell Louis C. Ku

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