'May namatay ba?': Lawmaker asks DOH about expired face shields allegedly tampered by Pharmally

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) — A party-list representative on Monday questioned health officials if wearing expired face shields resulted in the death of medical frontliners.

DIWA Representative Michael Aglipay, chairman of House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, made the inquiry following incriminating revelations in a Senate hearing that Pharmally changed the expiry dates on face shields it supplied to the government.

“May nagkasakit ho ba o namatay dahil sa face shields na binigay ng DOH sa frontliners?” he asked during the continuation of the House hearing into alleged irregularities in the government’s pandemic spending.

[Translation: Did someone get sick or die because of the face shield supplied by the DOH to the frontliners?]

Health Undersecretary Carolina Taino replied there was none, as far as the DOH knows. She said face shields have been helpful in protecting healthcare workers against COVID-19.

RELATED: DOH says face shields delivered to medical workers in good condition

Surigao 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel concluded that it was still a good buy.

“We have already established that the face shields were distributed, were utilized," he said. "So walang lugi [No funds lost].”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said medical-grade face shields generally have a 36-month shelf life. He explained that the styrofoam glued on the face shield to cushion the wearer’s forehead is what expires.

Last week, Pharmally officer Krizle Grace Mago admitted to senators that she was ordered by company management to instruct warehouse staff to change expiry dates on medical-grade face shields that will be delivered to the DOH during the onset of the pandemic.

House lawmakers have voted to subpoena Mago to the next hearing scheduled on Oct. 4.