THE GOVERNMENT could lose as much as P1.25 billion after it paid in full coronavirus test kits that would soon expire, a senator said on Tuesday. 

The state already lost P550 million from test kits that have expired, Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan said in a statement. 

During a blue ribbon committee hearing, the senator noted that the Health department had sought a delivery rescheduling from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. after it failed to use the first batch of kits. 

“They paid in full for testing kits that were due to expire in six months,” he said. “We were burning money while many are dying,” he added in Filipino. 

In two inspection reports by the Budget department’s Procurement Service, Pharmally delivered 4,800 kits on May 2, 2020 and 3,200 kits on May 4, 2020. 

The inspection reports showed that the kits were made on April 5, 2020 and were expiring on Oct. 5 that year, Mr. Pangilinan said. 

Test kits must be fresh stock and have a shelf-life of at least 24 to 36 months from the date of delivery, he said, citing the Procurement Service’s own rules. — ANOT