Duque set to act on anomalous barangay health stations project

MANILA — Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed the effort made by Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III to uncover alleged irregularities in the implementation of an PHP 8.1-billion project to build barangay (village) health stations in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the Palace expects Duque to act on the supposed anomalous project and send the results of his probe to relevant prosecuting authorities after he has completed investigation within his agency.

Ang nagsiwalat po niyan ay ang kalihim ng ating (The person who uncovered that is the Secretary of the) Department of Health, Secretary Duque. So I expect Secretary Duque to complete the documentations to forward it to the relevant prosecuting authorities,” Roque said in a press briefing in Cotabato City.

Roque said that Duque can also forward the case to the Office of the Ombudsman if irregularities in the implementation of the DOH project can be brought before the Sandiganbayan.

Kung ang kakasuhan ay triable before the Sandiganbayan, kinakailangan po i-forward ni Secretary Duque sa Ombudsman ang kanyang makakalap na mga dokumento at iba pang ebidensya (If the persons to be charged are triable before the Sandiganbayan, there is a need for Secretary Duque to forward the documents and other evidence to the Ombudsman),” Roque said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has yet to comment on the issue but Roque said that he has always been “dead serious” in his campaign against corruption.

“The President is dead serious about his campaign against corruption. Basta may ebidensya po, isasampa naman ‘yan (As long as there is evidence, charges will be filed),” he added.

The project, which was implemented during the Aquino administration, was meant to construct 5,700 health stations in public elementary schools nationwide.

However, reports showed that only 270 units have been constructed but only eight of them have documents showing full completion.

“I am beyond frustrated. I am saddened and disgusted that the Filipino people are being shortchanged by the very people who were supposed to serve them,” Duque said. PNA-northboundasia.com