THE Department of Health yesterday said the P18.49-billion flagged by the Commission on Audit as undistributed drugs and medicines includes accumulated balances from Dec. 31, 2014 and the total value of procured drugs and medicines from 2015 to 2018.
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III clarified that this does not mean that all these drugs and medicines are physically stored in its Central Office warehouses and the distributed health commodities as reflected in the Department’s financial records should also be deducted.
“Due to manual processing, real-time distribution cannot be immediately recorded. Only distributed commodities with complete transfer documents, submitted to the Central Office by third-party logistics (3pl) providers, are recorded as distributed in the Department’s accounts,” he said.
Duque said that as of Aug. 31, 2019, P12.22 billion out of the P18.49 billion worth of drugs and medicines have been reconciled and recorded. About P3.54 billion have been distributed, but remain unrecorded pending submission of transfer receipts and other pertinent documents by 3pl providers.
Meanwhile, P2.89 billion worth of health commodities are stored in the DOH warehouses and the RITM cold room storage, for validation through actual physical count. This includes an additional P157 million which is the net of stocks in CY 2019 and distributions made in the same year.
Duque said that with the creation of the Supply Chain Management Office last August 2018 the DOH is implementing various reforms including among others the institution of regular review and reconciliation of their book balance, the real-time status of actual procurement, and distribution of DOH centrally procured commodities.
He further added that to ensure efficiency in the distribution of drugs and medicines, the Department is currently in the process of procuring a customized Electronic Logistics Management Information System for easy access to information on availability of stock, stock-outs, real-time inventory balances, expiring and about to expire commodities, utilization even at the LGU levels and among other important information needs.