Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. President Huang Tzu Yen testifies, explains why the company sold medical supplies at very high prices

By Huang Tzu Yen


     Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

(Statement by zoom before the Sept. 13, 2021 hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee)

I really would like to address several concerns.

No. 1, high price.

In these transactions, the capacity of our company is only really in the role of a bidder or seller, in layman’s term. The company is a business entity.

What we really attempt to do as a business is to offer the best price available within the constraints of our abilities so that we can attract customers, and in this case, the customer was the government procurement entity.

What determines the price we offer is the supply and demand. When the demand for something is really high and the supply is low, then the price goes up.

During this time, a worldwide pandemic, the only protection that we have for anyone is masks and PPEs. So this global demand—drastic demand really brings up the price.

Of course, if we look back on those prices now, they seem exorbitant. I will agree they seem exorbitant.

Many have questioned about the masks we sold—P27.72 per piece.

Those masks were sold and delivered all in the month of April 2020, was really the height of the pandemic and it was, you know, the acquiring cost for us was relatively high.

Of course, I really welcome the decision to only acquire from local manufacturers to support the people there, but as throughout the concerns, we really just offered our best price at that moment.

How a small company got billions of deals

And No. 2 is, how come a small company like us—we were able to see billions in deals.

We never denied we are small and this is really reflected in all the documents that were submitted to us through the procurement entity. I want to highlight that we have been compliant with any of the requirements submitted to us. If not, we would never have been awarded or even to allow to collect payments after.

What happened really was when there was a bid, we bidded with the best of our abilities. And when we were awarded—if and when we are awarded, we will successfully deliver diligently.

And only after when we’ll be compensated—there was really never an instance where we got a single peso or centavo to do our business from the government.

And it was not one contract that got us to, you know, billion dollar deals. We just kept trying, you know—as I said before, I guess the three young men were a bit too ambitious, you know. We thought we can—you know, we can manage the supply side.

We were able to complete these deals. So we just kept trying and then after one, two, three, four, five—we just kept trying so that we will prevent ourselves from being blacklisted.

I guess, the company is always trying to do is just make our obligation to deliver. I think that is really the ultimate goal and what really drives us because we realized that if we don’t deliver, there will be great serious consequences.

Why the favorite

 There are also talks that we are favorite by the procurement entity, you know.

As I said before, we have business— sometimes we win the business and sometimes really no—we don’t and we go elsewhere—We don’t always win in these government bids. Yes, there were some instances where we bidded where we bidded and we didn’t win; we were not awarded the bid.

These are all really public records. We don’t have that 100% success story.

Bidded for contracts worth P14.48 billion

And if you really consider the amount of bids that we lost, the contract value is closer to approximately P14.48 billion.

Of course, what we really want to say is we don’t always win and what we do is just keep trying and keep trying and keep trying. And when we do win a bid or we do or awarded a bid, we just want to make good of the obligation because we realized that this is not also not just about winning, it’s about getting these, you know, life-saving equipments critically that needed as fast as possible. So from our perspective, that is what we do.

There are also questions about my personal history.

We are not a dummy

The company is different from that same Pharmally—from that company in 2017. The shareholders are different; we are not a dummy.

It’s really me finding my good friends, people I met in the Philippines. There is Mohit and Linconn together to start up a business because the previous one by my father and his partners are not gonna push through. So I just didn’t want to waste my effort. And many people can question why I used this very similar name, you know.

It was, I guess, it was a very stupid choice. Because at the time, I just wanted to rub off on the fact that the company was still a listed company. We want to rub off on the fact that even the … in that sense. So I really regret that.

But this Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation and Pharmally Biological is really completely different company. I need to state that on record.

Regarding our relationship with Mr. Michael Yang, I am not here to defend Mr. Michael Yang. He really does not know about me, my involvement with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Because I was scared to go to him. Because, you know, when your father made a promise to do something, and he left you in charge to do it, and then somehow that doesn’t happen, it’s just very embarrassing to go up to someone and try to ask for help.

But when we were awarded the contract, we really wanted to make good and deliver. So after, even despite my reluctance, I think we asked Linconn to approach Mr. Michael Yang in his personal capacity. So, I don’t know, maybe that’s why he said he doesn’t know about the company. But he definitely knows about that he is going—he is helping Mr. Linconn Ong for the contract in question.

So I don’t want to defend him. But the truth is, he doesn’t know about my personal involvement in this or whether he knows about this company.

The company is a small startup; we are not affiliated with any government agencies or other private agencies.

We did not win contracts thru connections

The shareholders and the corporate officers of the company are true and honest.  I believe we won the contracts by way of merit, by the price we offer, by the time of delivery schedule that we can offer. I don’t think really we won it through any form of connections.