Friday, 21 September 2012 13:59
Sadain questions use of funds for purchase of medicines
By: Nonong Santiago
Weak internal control environmen which could results to wastage and misuse of government resources and non accomplishments of the agency's objectives was the finding of the Commission on Audit (CoA) during last year's evaluation of the internal control system relative to the procurement, distribution, issuances and monitoring of drugs and medicines and medical, dental and laboratory supplies of the City Health Office (CHO) in Zamboanga City.
In its report, the CoA said for the Calendar Year 2011, the City Government of Zamboanga incurred a total expenditures for Drugs and Medicines of P21,444,740.08 million and Medical, Dental and Laboratory Supplies of P6,496,153.40 million under the general fund.
The CoA finding on weak internal control environment of CHO was brought about by the weaknesses, such as: 1. RIS documenting the issuance of drugs and medicines and medical, dental and laboratory supplies by the Supplies Division of the CHO were undated, unnumbered and did not indicate the division and the name of the receiving personnel, thus proper accountability could not be properly established; 2. Supplies Ledger Card for all drugs and medicines and supplies were not undated; 3. Items received were not segregated and accounted for according to the source of funds wehich could result in unreliable basis for the reporting asnd monitoring of accomplishments of a particular program; 4. Health Units and Barangay District Unitsd and other CHO officer receiving drugs and medicines and supplies did not account for the stocks received and utilized thus exposingh these items to loss snd wastage; 5. Drugs and medicines issued from the CHO Pharmacy to patients and non-patients were noty recovered with any acknowledgement rteceipts or an equievalent form to documnet ther issuance, hence, there was no adequate safeguard against misuse of the same.
"We recommend that the City government of Zamboanga/CHO adopt measures and procedures to strengthen its internal controls more particularly those related to distribution, recording and moniutoring of drugs and medicines and medical, dental and laboratory supplies in order to achieve the organization's objectives, safeguard its resources and promote efficiency and economy in its operations," the CoA report says.
In particular, the CoA recommended the adoption of the following measures:
1. The Supplies Disvision should numbet and indicate the date of requisition and issuance of the drugs and medicines and supplies in the RIS. It shouldf also identify in the RIS the designation of receiving personnel to ensure that the receiving personnel have the authority to receive the items, and proper control, monitoring and accountability of items resquisitioned and issued;
2. The Supplies Division should regularly update the Supplies Ledger Card of each item for the issuances made based on a summary of issuances made on a daily basis, and each time items are received to properly monitor against under/over stocking of supplies, and to establish control against theft or abuse of the inventory items;
3. The CHO should monitor and account for all items purchased, received and distributed separately according to their source;
4. The different health and barangay units of the CHO should maintain their own records of items received from the Supplies Division with the corresponding dates received. The health units should properly account for the drugs and medicines and supplies used in serving the patients or tests performed on a daily basis which should indicate the type and quantity of item used or issued. The health units should also obtain acknowledgement from patients indicating the name and signature of the patient served, the official receipt numbert for the health fees paid and the type of drugs and medicines issued and supplies used;
5. The management should require every person (whether patient or non-patient) to accomplish and sign an Acknowledgement Receipt or an equivalent form for all drugs and medicines issued out of the stocks in the Pharmacy and to properly account for all the issuances therefrom.
"Lastly, we recommend that the Internal Auditing Unit (IAU) of the city of Zamboanga conduct a regular evaluation of the Internal control system to determine whether the same is operating effectively throughout ther CHO and are carried out in all transactions and events occuring therein," it further says.
According to Councilor Mechol "Mel" Sadain of District I, the findings of CoA raise questions on whether the funds used for the purchase of medicines were properly used or not and how much really was spent for the purchase of the medicines and how much really was used for the benefit of the people of Zamboanga City.
Sadain said the funds use for the purchase of medicines are public funds "these are money coming from our people and it is only but proper that when we purchased something like for example medicines and we distribute these medicines to the different health units, barangay health centers to the differnt divisions within the CHO and other concerned agencies who are entitled to the distribution of these medicines. This distribution should be properly accounted it should be properly received then the one who received these medicines should properly asked to affix their signatures because if we lack these documentations then we can not trace."
"Onde ba ya genda el medisina? Ya resibe ba el maga recipients ese mga medisina?" Sadain asked. "That's why people are wondering why that almost every year ta palta medisina el CHO. You can't blame these people from asking this question because they can not see the flow of these medicines from the main supply division office to the different agencies that are health related, the work is health related. So you can just imagine for the entire year of 2011, the City Government through the CHO make used of more than P20 million for the purchase of drugs and medicines. But everytime people wanted to avail of these medicines na 3rd quarter pa lang o na 4th quarter nuway mas ya."
"So debe de atun CHO under Dr. Rodel Agbulos should come up with a concrete or complete control system so that we could monitor the use of the medicines...in effect, according to the CoA, there is now a violation of Section 2...I think this is a misfeasant on the part of CHO in the sense it lacks its control system...hoping the office concern will try and find ways on how to..these findings of CoA covers 2011 so we do not know after 2011 if the CHO already in compliance with the recommendation of CoA...we are already 2012 almost to end so I think the City Council should conduct some sort of inquiry what transpired about the findings of the COA," Sadain said.
Under Section 2, Presidential Decree (PD) 1445 provides that "all resources of the government shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with laws, and regulations, and safeguards against loss or wastage, illegal or improper disposition, with a view to ensuring efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of the government. Towards this end, it is the primary responsibility of the head of the agency to install, implement asnd monitor an adequate system of internal control for purposes of safeguarding the resources of the government against waste, loss, unauthorized used andf misappropriation."
Another findings of CoA that CHO specifies the procurement of branded Ascorbic Acid vitamins Megas-C in Veggie Capsule and Quali-C labeled in ther Purchase Requests and Request for Quotation which is contrary to the provisions of the Genercis Act of 1988 and Section 18 of the Revised IRR of R.A. 9184, and that prices of drugs and medicines were not properly monitored and evaluated resulting in higher cost of purchase procurred to the disadvantage of the government and that the physical inventory count of drugs and medicines as well as dental and laboratory supplies is not conducted annually.
The state audit agency recommended that management indicate only the generic names in the procurement of drugs and medicines rather than specifying brand names, that management revisit its present system of establishing prices of goods in its library/data base and to establish best procedures to monitor and evaluate prices of drugs and medicines prevailing in the market to arrive at a realistic and reasonable ABC and for management to consider line item instead of lot basis in the conduct of bidding and awarding to winning bidder for drugs and medicines and othe supplies and that the CHO conduct and inventory count at least once a year to establish the actual stock on hand as of the end of a given period and determine whether there were any lossess for spoilage.
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