The Philippine Army on Thursday clarified that it did not procure and subsequently distribute expired medicines to its troops in 2013 even as their primordial concern is the health of troopers.
Army spokesman Col. Benjamin Hao said the facts contained in the Commission on Audit report about the procurement of P37.5 million worth of medical kits was inaccurately interpreted by some in the media.
“The CoA report did not say that we procured and distributed expired medicines…The [media] report said that what we distributed and procured are expired. We won’t allow such [erroneous reporting],” said Hao.
“We have to correct it and we are categorically saying right now that we are not procuring and distributing expired medicines to our troops. We give premium to the health of our troops, especially those that will save their lives. That ‘s the priority of the Army,” he added.
Hao said the medical package consisting of 1,040 medical kits were supplied by BDM Enterprises on June 18, 2013 and subsequently accepted by the Army’s Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee on July 10, 2013.
Hao said that 997 of the medical kits were distributed to various units in September 2014. However, 43 of which supposedly for the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, were not withdrawn after finding that seven of the items were either expired or were expiring.
“Out of these 43 kits, the CoA noted that seven out of the 54 items found in the kits were either expiring or already expired,” he said. Hao could not say how many medical kits were inspected by CoA.
The medicines were supposed to expire in June 2015 or two years after the delivery.
The expired or expiring items found were ammonium nitrate, antibacterial ointment, chlorpheneramine maleate, sodium hypochlorite, IV infusion set, dry scrub, and chloroquine phosphate.