As the main health agency in the Philippines, DOH is responsible for making quality basic health services available to every Filipino. It is also mandated to enforce standards and regulations in the provision of health goods and services. Although health services were devolved with the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991, DOH remains “the leader, enabler, standard-setter (or regulator/enforcer of standards/regulation) for health services planning and service provision and delivery, policymaker, health advocate, resource center, mobilizer, and technical adviser as well as administrator of regional and special hospitals” (Cuenca 2018).
As part of its efforts to promote transparency, DOH proactively publishes several datasets on its website. This includes targets and accomplishments, a list and status of programs, projects, and activities, including its status, and procurement-related reports. However, only documents related to procurement planning are published proactively. Information about awarded contracts, the names of selected contractors or the status of contract accomplishments is not published on the DOH website. Given this situation, can we use the Freedom of Information program of the Philippine government to access public contracting data?
Our research shows that there are significant barriers to providing contracting information through the FOI program. If you are interested to know what are these barriers, please click on this link.