A maternal and newborn nutrition project worth P16.52 million. Province-wide health investment program worth P6.88 million. Hospital equipment worth P14.23 million. Drugs and medicines worth P40.25 million.
These were just the health programs lined up for the province of Quezon that the Commission on Audit (COA) found to be idle and not fully implemented despite their hefty program funding.
State auditors reported that the maternal and newborn-child health and nutrition program and the province-wide investment plan for health were not carried out in a timely fashion.
They said the Department of Health issued a combined project fund of P23.39 million between 2010 and 2012 for both projects.
However, as of end-2012, only P12.52 million, or 57 percent of the total fund was used at, leaving P10.87 million unused.
Considering that the program was intended to meet Millennium Development Goals, primarily the maternal-health-related index, “all the programmed activities were not carried out as agreed, thus, resulting in delays in the deliveries of the services and benefits to the intended beneficiaries of the fund,” auditors wrote in their report.
In the Quezon Medical Center, a 2D echo machine worth P7.73 million and a mammography system amounting P6.5 million remained idle for about a year.
Hospital administrators said that a 2D echo machine operator was hired only in March 2013 and had since undergone training for two months. The operator for the mammography system was already available last year.
Even then, the machines were used only for “trial runs” at P800 per service, which is almost the same rate at private hospitals, the COA said.
Besides these, drugs, medicines, and laboratory supplies worth P40.25 million were not accounted for “due to lack of records, documentation and controls.”
Hospital records at the General Services Office log P21.88 million in drugs and medicines and P18.38 million in supplies.
But the pharmacy bared that they only had P9.72-million worth of medicines and P4.29-million worth of laboratory supplies, registering a 56-percent difference and 77-percent difference, respectively.
“The distribution of medicines for the first half of the year could not be audited due to incomplete records and documentation,” the report stated.
Reliable records such as delivery receipts and issuances to patients “were not maintained in the pharmacy.”
“The actual amount could be more, considering that the period evaluated was for the second half of the year only. The possibility is not remote that there were items unaccounted for in the first semester,” COA said.