Lacson: Lao should face graft charges for allowing Pharmally contracts

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Lacson: Lao should face graft charges for allowing Pharmally contracts
Christopher Lloyd Lao at Blue Ribbon hearing Sept. 21, 2021

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday recommended graft charges against former Budget Undersecretary Christopher Lloyd Lao for allowing Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation to bag huge contracts despite its lack of financial capacity.

During the continuation of the Senate probe into the government procurement of COVID-19 supplies, Lacson said the Blue Ribbon committee should include in its report that Lao had violated anti-graft laws when he authorized the awarding of a P13.86-million contact to Pharmally even though it only had P599,450 net working capital in 2019.

According to his presentation, the Net Financial Contacting Capacity (NFCC) is computed by multiplying the net working capital by 10, which means Pharmally should only be given a maximum contract of P5.994 million.

However, the company’s first delivery to the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service(DBM-PS) amounted to P13.86 million or more than twice than the allowed maximum contract.

“Hindi dapat bigyan ng kontrata na higit sa 10 times ng net working capital. Lumampas sila. Nasundan pa ito ng katakot-takot na delivery [Pharmally should not have been given a contract that is more than 10 times its net working capital. Then it followed with hefty deliveries],” he said.

Overall, Lacson said in his presentation that Pharmally bagged some P11.11 billion worth of contracts from the government.

“Bakit una pa lang na delivery, nasa P13 milyon agad mahigit? May violation agad dito [Why is it that in its first delivery, it already raked in more than P13 million? Here we can immediately see the violation],” Lacson said.

“The reason why I’m bringing this up is because maybe you can include in your interim preliminary report na merong maliwanag na violation dito [that there’s a clear violation here] and this is violation of Anti-Graft Law because this is an administrative requirement which was not followed,” he added.

Lacson emphasized that NFCC is part of the eligibility documents of bidders under the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Resolution 16-2020.

Lacson sought the side of PS-DBM but there were no officials present during the investigation due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s ban.

“So mag-agree kayo sa akin, na in-exceed ni Attorney Lao ang kanyang authority o hindi sinunod ang alituntunin sa Procurement Law, na dapat times 10 lang ang maximum based sa net working capital [You will agree with me that Lao exceeded his authority or did not follow the Procurement Law’s provision on the net working capital],” he said

GMA News Online has sought Lao’s comment on the matter.

The Blue Ribbon committee is looking into the transfer of P42 billion COVID-19 funds from the Department of Health to the PS-DBM.

This includes PS-DBM’s purchase of P8.6 billion worth of face masks, face shields, and PPEs from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a firm that is being linked to Yang.

The company only had a P625,000 paid-up capital when it entered transactions with the government. — BM, GMA News

This article Lacson: Lao should face graft charges for allowing Pharmally contracts was originally published in GMA News Online.

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