Category: Statements

Ping: Kung May EUA sa Pinagmula, Donasyong Bakuna Padaliin ang Pagpasok sa Bansa

Huwag nang gawing kumplikado ang puwede namang maging simple.

Ito ang panawagan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga awtoridad kaugnay sa pagpasok sa bansa ng mga donasyon na COVID-19 vaccines na mayroon nang Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) sa mga lugar na may mahigpit na regulatory agencies.

Ang panawagan ay ginawa ng mambabatas sa pangatlong pagdinig na isinagawa ng Senado bilang Committee of the Whole tungkol sa vaccination program ng pamahalaan.

“This is critical because there are many associations abroad that may donate vaccines to their sister cities in the Philippines. Would it not be more practical to ensure the goods reach the intended recipients directly under strict supervision and guidance by health authorities, instead of coursing the goods through the Department of Health and having the DOH distribute them?” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Simplify Procedures for Entry of Donated Vaccines
Continue reading “Ping: Kung May EUA sa Pinagmula, Donasyong Bakuna Padaliin ang Pagpasok sa Bansa”

Lacson: Simplify Procedures for Entry of Donated Vaccines

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson sought simplified procedures Friday for the entry of donated COVID-19 vaccines, especially those with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from countries or territories with stringent regulatory agencies.

Lacson made the call during the third hearing of the Senate, convening as a Committee of the Whole, on the government’s vaccination program.

“This is critical because there are many associations abroad that may donate vaccines to their sister cities in the Philippines. Would it not be more practical to ensure the goods reach the intended recipients directly under strict supervision and guidance by health authorities, instead of coursing the goods through the Department of Health and having the DOH distribute them?” he said.

“Besides, many local government units like Baguio City already have their own cold storage facilities for the vaccines, as their local leaders had the foresight to act accordingly. Allowing such donated vaccines to go directly to the LGUs instead of having to go through the logistical requirements of the DOH and Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 would also avoid the prospect of double handling and additional costs,” he added.

Related: Ping: Kung May EUA sa Pinagmula, Donasyong Bakuna Padaliin ang Pagpasok sa Bansa
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On the Meeting with Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

Last Tuesday, I received a message from Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, relaying Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.’s request for a meeting to apologize personally for the things he mentioned about me in his presentation during the T3 Zoom meeting last week – which I mentioned in my manifestation during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing last Jan. 15. He also promised to brief me and disclose all the details of their vaccine procurement, including the prices of the different brands.

Then came the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to Sec. Galvez to brief Senate President Vicente Sotto III. I suggested to them that SP Sotto and I just go together, along with Sen. Ronald de la Rosa.

Sec. Galvez’s briefing clarified a lot of issues and concerns raised by the senators that have remained unresolved until last night. We advised him to explain in tomorrow’s hearing the same way that he did last night, without violating the terms of the agreement with the vaccine suppliers.

On our part, we committed to honor and respect those terms so as not to put in jeopardy the deliveries of the vaccines that he said will start within the first quarter of this year.

I accepted his apology. He promised to be more careful in issuing statements.

We were shown the documents. And we have no doubt about Sec. Galvez’s integrity and his sincerity to accomplish his task.

That said, we advised Sec. Galvez to mind his back, front, left and right sides. He may have the best of intentions but there may be people pushing him out front to do the talking and explaining to take advantage of his credibility while pursuing their own interests. He assured us that he will make it very hard for those people to even have an opening for that opportunity.

We share the same goal – to ensure our people are vaccinated against COVID-19, with no room for overpricing and other irregularities. The executive and legislative departments must work together in this regard.

*****

Ping: Isyu sa Sinovac, Sana Naturuan ang Vaccine Officials na Maging Matapat

Sana naging instrumento ang kontrobersya sa Sinovac para matuto ng seryosong aral sa katapatan at walang ikinukubling transaksyon ang mga opisyales na nangangasiwa sa bakuna laban sa COVID-19.

Binigyang diin ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, kasabay ng pagsasabing hindi sana natuon sa Sinovac ang atensiyon ng Senado kung hindi nagpatumpik-tumpik ang mga opisyal.

“If they had been more forthright and honest in their responses in our first hearing, hindi mafo-focus sa Sinovac,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam sa ANC.

Ayon pa sa mambabatas, palagiang handa ang dalawang kapulungan ng Kongreso na makipagtulungan sa ehekutibo kaya nararapat lamang na malaman din nila kung paano ginugugol ang mga pondong kanilang inaaprubahan.

“When the Senate hearings raised more questions than answers about Sinovac, our officials were both tongue-tied and stuttering, leaving us with a string of flip-flopping pronouncements,” bahagi ng privilege speech ni Lacson nitong Lunes.

Related: Lacson Hopes Vaccine Officials Learned Hard Lesson on Transparency
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Lacson Hopes Vaccine Officials Learned Hard Lesson on Transparency

While there is still a long way to go as far as the government’s vaccination efforts are concerned, the controversy involving COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac should be a hard lesson on honesty and transparency for officials in the program, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson said that had the officials been forthright about the conditions of negotiations with Sinovac early on, there would have been no speculations or suspicions about the matter.

“If they had been more forthright and honest in their responses in our first hearing, hindi mafo-focus sa Sinovac,” he said in an interview on ANC, stressing that while Congress – the Senate and House of Representatives – are willing partners of the executive department, in return, lawmakers “need to be informed also what happened to the appropriations we gave you.”

“When the Senate hearings raised more questions than answers about Sinovac, our officials were both tongue-tied and stuttering, leaving us with a string of flip-flopping pronouncements,” Lacson noted in his privilege speech on the issue Monday.

Related: Ping: Isyu sa Sinovac, Sana Naturuan ang Vaccine Officials na Maging Matapat
Continue reading “Lacson Hopes Vaccine Officials Learned Hard Lesson on Transparency”

Ping: Panibagong ‘Pact’ sa UP at Security Sector, Dapat Buuin

Kailangan na magkaroon ng panibagong kasunduan ang University of The Philippines (UP) at security sector bunga ng pagkakapawalambisa sa kasunduan noong 1989 na nagbabawal sa pagpasok ng pulis at militar sa unibersidad nang walang coordination.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, kailangang mapapanatili ang academic freedom sa loob ng “State U.”

“Once the pact is terminated, what will the security sector do? We don’t know that yet. Probably they could come to an agreement that there are boundaries to be observed,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng ANC.

Related: Lacson: Boundaries Should be Observed after Ending of 1989 UP Pact
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Lacson: Boundaries Should be Observed after Ending of 1989 UP Pact

With the termination of a 1989 pact banning the entry of police and military forces without prior coordination, the security sector should come up with an agreement with the University of the Philippines on boundaries to be observed, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense, said this is to prevent the move from negatively affecting the culture of academic freedom in the state university.

“Once the pact is terminated, what will the security sector do? We don’t know that yet. Probably they could come to an agreement that there are boundaries to be observed,” Lacson said in an interview on ANC.

Related: Ping: Panibagong ‘Pact’ sa UP at Security Sector, Dapat Buuin
Continue reading “Lacson: Boundaries Should be Observed after Ending of 1989 UP Pact”

Ping: Presyo ng Sinovac sa Pilipinas, Nangangamoy Katiwalian

Nangangamoy ‘tong-pats’ ang lumulutang na presyo ng bakuna ng Sinovac sa Pilipinas, kumpara sa presyo nito sa ibang bansa.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ito ay kung pagbabatayan ang $5 kada turok na presyo sa ibang mga bansang naunang nakipagtransaksyon sa kumpanya para masigurado ang suplay at sa $38 (mahigit P1,800) per dose na ibinabalitang presyo sa Pilipinas.

Pero ayon kay Lacson, kung sakali mang totoo na ang sinabi ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. na P650 kada turok ang magiging presyuhan sa bansa, ibig sabihin nito ay nagawa ng Senado ang obligasyon nito para sa makatuwirang presyo ng bakuna.

“If it’s true that government is now dropping the price of Sinovac vaccine from P1,847.25 per dose to only P650, the Senate has probably done our share to save our people billions of pesos in the country’s vaccination program. Netizens can pat themselves on the back,” paliwanag pa ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.

Related: Lacson: Differences in Sinovac Prices Smack of Corruption
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Lacson: Differences in Sinovac Prices Smack of Corruption

Sharp differences in the prices of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines and elsewhere may smack of corruption, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.

Lacson noted that while Sinovac’s product may cost as little as $5 per dose, it may cost as much as a whopping $38 (more than P1,800) in the Philippines.

But Lacson said that if it is true the government is dropping the price of Sinovac vaccines to only P650 per dose, the Senate may have done its share to save billions of pesos in the government’s vaccination efforts.

“If it’s true that government is now dropping the price of Sinovac vaccine from P1,847.25 per dose to only P650, the Senate has probably done our share to save our people billions of pesos in the country’s vaccination program. Netizens can pat themselves on the back,” he said on his Twitter account.

Related: Ping: Presyo ng Sinovac sa Pilipinas, Nangangamoy Katiwalian
Continue reading “Lacson: Differences in Sinovac Prices Smack of Corruption”

Ping: Patawarin na Lang Natin Ulit ang Cha-Cha Pusher sa Kamara

Patawarin uli natin si Cong Garbin – dahil talagang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya.

Ito ang reaksiyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa paggamit ni House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Alfredo Garbin Jr. sa isang resolusyon na isinulong ng senador noon pang 17th Congress.

Sa panayam ng Politiko TV, iginiit ni Garbin na ang pagtalakay sa pagbabago sa Saligang Batas na kanilang ginagawa ay batay sa Senate Resolution 580 na inihain ni Lacson noong Enero 2018.

“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” ayon kay Lacson.

Related: Patawarin Natin Ulit: Lacson Trashes Charter Change Proponent’s New Claims
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