Palace on alleged signing of inspection reports while PPEs still in China: Issues are arrival, specs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — The Palace on Tuesday addressed the reported signing of inspection reports for personal protective equipment (PPE) sets despite the goods still being in China.

"Well, ang importante po, malaman natin kung talagang dumating po 'yung PPEs, 'yun 'yung issue dun, at kung talagang 'yan po ay sang-ayon nga dun sa specifications na tinakda po ng WHO," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque was referring to a statement made by a former Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) official during the Senate probe on Monday about remembering two instances of such signing.

Former PS-DBM inspection chief Jorge Mendoza told lawmakers this was done to "assure" Chinese supplies that they will be paid once the items reach the country. He also admitted this wasn't a normal procedure for the agency.

"The one who advised me to prepare or to sign the inspection report is ‘yung sa [the one in] finance considering they will be the one to pay," said Mendoza, identifying former PS-DBM accounting chief Raul Catalan.

The Senate, in a statement on Monday, noted that the actual inspection must be performed first before the signing of inspection documents and before the PPEs can be delivered and paid for.