While some countries rushing to acquire vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Congress can only assure that P2.5 billion in funding is available for that next year.
Instead, the leaders of the Senate and House agreed that the funds for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines be sourced from unprogrammed appropriations, according to Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate finance panel.
Unprogrammed appropriations can only be made available if there is excess tax collections or borrowings by the government. This means that while Congress allocated P72.5 billion for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines in the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget, most of its funding is not yet sure or certain at this point.
This development comes amid the warning of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of health and humanitarian organizations, that the world’s richest nations have “hoarded” Covid-19 vaccines and warned that 67 poorer countries may not be able to get enough stocks for their populations.
The coalition, which includes Amnesty International, Frontline AIDS, Global Justice Now, and Oxfam, said an analysis of data shows that while dozens of nations wait for vials of vaccines, the world’s richest countries have already secured enough doses to inoculate their populations nearly three times over. SOVEREIGNPH