Under Aquino admin: P1.5-B Unfinished DOH projects, delays delivering health services to the public

1.5B worth of DOH projects remain unfinished, idle — COA

State auditors have reported that infrastructure projects worth P1.5 billion under the Department of Health's facilities enhancement program remained either unfinished or unutilized which caused delays in delivering health services to the public.

In a 2016 report, auditors from the Commission on Audit said the bulk of the deficiency worth P1.2 billion came from projects not completed within the contract time.

These include improvements at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, the Bataan General Hospital, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, and DOH Offices in Regions 5, 6, and 11.

The COA report said the absence of required building permits, changes from the original plan, unavailability of materials, non-submission of Certificate of Completion, and non-processing of claims were among the causes of the deficiency.

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"Some were already due for termination of their contracts and others are already subject for liquidated damages to the agency. However, termination of the contracts has not yet been effected, thus, management's actions that may be made against the contractor such as, forfeiture of warranties and liquidated damages are not yet enforced with finality," it added.

The COA recommended that the DOH "facilitate the full operation of the newly-built infrastructures and ensure the immediate installation of needed equipment, electrical power, and other needed utilities."

The COA report also found several idle projects worth P292 million.

A government project at the Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center Extension Hospital worth P25 million, on the other hand, has yet to start.

Under the DOH's Health Facilities Enhancement Program, the agency improves the delivery of basic and specialized health services through the rationalization and upgrading of health facilities nationwide.

The COA urged engineers hired by the DOH to "expedite the conduct of procurement process" for immediate implementation and "conduct regular and strict monitoring of all on-going hospital infra projects" to ensure that deficiencies are detected early.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean has agreed to comply with the COA recommendations, the report said.

[Read full: GMA News]
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