Boys’ Town FC Coach Andrew Price says that he expects yesterday’s 1-1 home draw with leaders Montego Bay United in the Red Stripe Premier League to spur the team on to better performances in 2017.In a game where first in the table met last placed, MoBay started the stronger team and created more chances in the first half, but Price’s side lifted their performance in the second half after a number of substitutions and changes to the team’s formation.The defending champions took the lead in the 43rd minute when Allan Ottey’s free kick deflected off the Boys’ Town wall and into the net, but Shamar Nicholson equalised in the 75th minute with a header, also off a free kick. The goal takes his total to nine for the season. It also takes him back to the top of the goal-scorers’ table.Price says he hopes the performance will lift the team’s spirit and help it out of the relegation zone.STRONG FIGHT”We came back in the second half and played with a lot of character and resilience and we really took the game to Montego Bay,” Price said. “We found that they were tiring in the last 15 minutes when we were getting stronger. That augers well for the future, and it’s good that we can close the year without a loss (in this game). Come January, when we begin again, we hope to come with a lot more gusto and more industry to see if we can progress up the table.”MoBay assistant Dillon Thelwell says his team did not take Boys’ Town seriously enough.”We never played up to standard,” he said. “We played good for about 65 minutes. After 65 minutes, it was all Boys’ Town. I think we took Boys’ Town a bit lightly today, based on the performance. But coming away here in Kingston and getting a point is always going to be a plus for us.”Price says he will also be looking to adding some new players to the team in the January transfer window.”We don’t want to say who they are at the moment, but we’re quietly optimistic that these players have the qualities that we need to help the team,” he says.Other results on the day saw Maverley-Hughenden and Harbour View drawing 1-1, Humble Lion outscoring Arnett Gardens 3-2, Portmore United beating Tivoli Gardens 2-0, and UWI also getting by Reno 2-0.Yesterday’s ResultsMaverley-Hughenden 1 Harbour View 1Waterhouse 2 Jamalco 0Boys’ Town 1 Montego Bay 1Humble Lion 3 Arnett Gardens 2Portmore 2 Tivoli Gardens 0UWI 2 Reno 0
– chides Govt for awarding contracts without tendering, prequalificationthe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is calling for a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the drug shortages throughout the country and the massive expenditures to companies without public tendering.The parliamentary Opposition made this call during a press conference on Thursday. It comes in the wake of questions the Party fielded to the Ministers of Public Health and Communities in the National Assembly on Monday last.From left: Members of Parliament, Dr Vindhya Persaud; Dr Frank Anthony; Gail Teixeira and Juan EdghillWhen a response came from Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, it was revealed that nine out of the 10 administrative regions in Guyana did no public tendering for drugs and medical supplies between January 2016 and February 2017. In addition, all regions indicated that no prequalification was done. This was all done in the name of emergencies.At the press conference were Members of Parliament Juan Edghill, Gail Teixeira, Dr Vindhya Persaud and Dr Frank Anthony. According to PPP Chief Whip, Teixeira, the situation demands a CoI.“However, this is a case where, as my colleagues have all spoken, 92 per cent (of drug purchases) have been based on emergencies, with no paper trails. This issue demands a Commission of Inquiry. We’re (already) having Commission of Inquiries galore.”Teixeira said that during the May 8 sitting of the National Assembly, there were a number of questions left unanswered. In addition, Opposition Parliamentarian Juan Edghill noted that 77 per cent of the total allocations for drugs for the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) have been expended.“When we asked the question from the Minister of Health, how much money would have been spent on drugs and medical supplies for the Georgetown Public Hospital for January 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017 she gave us some figures.“And in those figures for 2017, $2 billion has already been expended on drugs and medical supplies for GPHC. That represents almost 77 per cent of the total allocations for the year. Now you may say that that’s great, they already got the drugs.”He noted that what usually obtains is open bidding or pre-qualification where by a number of companies were pre-qualified. Edghill pointed out that among the questions to the Ministers was whether any of the companies were pre-qualified.“The answer in all cases was no. Nobody was pre-qualified. So here it is, just in the Public Hospital, without any pre-qualification or any suppliers being called upon to provide their bonafides to show that they have proper cold chain storage to show that they are actually bringing good quality drugs, two million dollars of the nation’s money is spent. The system is being manipulated.”Edghill noted that the nation has degenerated from a point where pharmaceutical company NEW GPC INC and other companies were prequalified using an international process to a point where officials can now call upon anyone to supply drugs without due process.The Ministry stated that in Region One (Barima-Waini), $76.2 million or 94 per cent of the Public Health Budget was expended by December 2016. In the case of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), $141.1 million or 80 per cent was expended, while in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), that figure was $127.7 million. This represented just 38 per cent, as $339.6 million was budgeted.In Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), $553.9 million or 94 per cent was expended by the close of the year; in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), the figure was $80.6 million or just 52 per cent of the budgeted expenses.For Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), almost the full $394.5 million was expended, while in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) the figure was $61.3 million. In Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), $2.9 million was expended or just 10 per cent was used.In Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo), the figure was $63.8 million, while in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), the full $141.5 million was expended.There has already been a CoI into the Public Health Ministry. This was, however, billed as a CoI on the unauthorised disclosure of information on the procurement of pharmaceuticals at the Ministry. That CoI resulted in the Ministry parting company with former Permanent Secretary, Trevor Thomas.Besides the previous CoI into pharmaceuticals, there have been a plethora of other CoIs since the APNU/AFC’s ascension to office. These include CoIs into the state of education in Guyana, the land rights CoI and a CoI into a suspicious plane found in the interior.