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The agency said that the procured test kits were almost the same as WHO’s standards and passed the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine's evaluation.
The Department of Health says that the COVID-19 test kits procured by the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) for DOH were not almost expired.
According to DOH Undersecretary Charade Mercado-Grande, “The COVID-19 RT-PCR test kits with six months shelf life are not near expiry, as that was the standard shelf life of those novel diagnostic test kits at the time.”
Grande added, "The DOH acknowledged that these products have a short shelf-life and accepted the deliveries with this limitation.”
The statement was released after Senator Kiko Pangilinan interrogated the procurement of the COVID-19 test kits worth ₱600 million with shorter lifespan which contradicts the specifications submitted by the DOH.
DOH’s directive to PS-DBM was to buy RT-PCR test kits that will last for 12 to 24 months.
But the DOH said that the specification it gave to PS-DBM was based on the procurements before the pandemic. The agency added that the procured test kits were almost the same as WHO’s standards and passed the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine's evaluation.