GOVERNMENT-run medical facilities with cancer specialty services have vouched for Department of Health (DoH) officials who have been accused of mishandling public funds for cancer patients.
In a joint statement, 20 public hospitals said cancer funds amounting to more than P809 million have been allocated to them and have been used efficiently.
The fund “continues to be used for procurement of cancer medicines for our patients,” they said.
The hospitals include Jose Reyes Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Region 1 Medical Center, Cagayan Valley Medical Center, D Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Batangas Medical Center, and Bicol Medical Center.
Other signatories are the Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center, Western Visayas Medical Center, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
Clarito Carlo, Jr., a medical officer at the DoH, filed a complaint last week before the Office of the Ombudsman against several members of the department over alleged mismanagement of funds for the Cancer and Supportive-Palliative Medicines Access Program (CSPMAP).
In his complaint, Mr. Carlo accused the officials of grave misconduct, malversation of public funds, and violating the country’s anti-graft law for the sub-allotment of CSPMAP funds to only 19 of the 31 access sites, which he said was “highly disadvantageous to the government and a grave disservice to many CSPMAP-enrolled patients.”
In a separate statement, several non ex-officio members of the DoH-led National Integrated Cancer Control Council assured “all stakeholders that the P786-M fund in question is all accounted for.”
“The decision to sub-allot/transfer the funds to the hospitals was discussed and agreed upon by the Council due to the exigency of providing medicines to patients and to prevent and address gaps in patient treatment,” they said.
The signatories include Samuel D. Ang of the Surgical Oncology Society of the Philippines, Mae Concepcion J. Dolendo of the Philippine Society of Pediatric Oncology, Rachel Martie B. Rosario of the Philippine Society of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and Corazon A. Ngelangel of the Philippine Cancer Society. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza