Sat. May 8th, 2021
Senator Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance (Subcommittee “F”), presiding over the public hearing on the proposed 2020 Budget of the Department of Health (DOH) engages DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III in an animated discussion as Senator Nancy Binay looks on. (PNA photo)

About P2 billion had been allotted for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines with the House of Representatives proposing to increase it further, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that now that government is closing on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the Department of Health must start an information campaign to guide public response in acquiring them.

Go discussed several options for procuring the vaccines, saying, “one way is direct procurement through Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, or Republic Act 11494, (the) Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.”

Go mentioned that the government may also avail of multilateral loans with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. “Ito po ‘yung proposed by the Department of Finance,” he remarked, “together with bilateral loans.”

Finally, the private sector may finance the procurement through a tripartite agreement between the national government, pharmaceutical company, private sector company — with no cost to the government.

Aside from ensuring enough funds to procure vaccines, Go also called on the DOH to fully implement a nationwide information and education campaign for the  the vaccination plan.

“Isa po ito sa priority ng ating Executive na ‘yung vaccine —lalong-lalo na po para sa mga kababayan natin na mahihirap, at wala pong access na naghihintay lang po sa safe vaccine,” he added.

Special Risk allowance

Go, meanwhile, shared that the Office of the President just recently released Administrative Orders providing for the issuance of special risk allowance to public and private health workers directly catering to Covid-19 patients, and Active Hazard Duty Pay to all Human Resources for Health serving in the frontlines.

“I hope that there will be no delay in the provision of these assistance to our health workers. Let us fulfill all our commitments to our medical frontliners,” he said.

He also expressed his full support for the budget of the DOH and its attached agencies and corporations.

“I urge the DOH and other government agencies to ensure that every centavo of the people’s money is put to good use, wisely spent, and used solely for the intended purpose. Dapat walang masayang ni piso,” he ended.

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