Has the Commission on Audit (COA) investigated how much the concerned government agencies are buying the various Covid-19 vaccines for?
More than deficiencies and neglect, the COA may find corrupt transactions of overpricing and huge commissions shrouded in cavalier claims of secret price tags.
The expenditures in the purchase of vaccines cannot be validated and additional funds cannot be appropriated without the most critical data on the specific prices negotiated by the government.
Secret pricing of vaccines defies the oversight function of the Congress and mocks the congressional power of appropriation.
Government officials repeatedly refused to divulge the exact purchase prices of the vaccines by invoking a “non-disclosure agreement” imposed by suppliers.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez reiterated the pricing confidentiality during the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) budget briefing last Thursday, August 27, 2020 when queried by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman.
Accountability and transparency in government transactions, like the purchase of vaccines amounting to billions of pesos, demand a full disclosure of the detailed prices paid by the government.
Why cannot the Duterte administration disclose the prices involved when private sector entities openly reveal the amounts they have paid for their separate vaccine purchases?
EDCEL C. LAGMAN