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.
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.
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I rise before you on a matter of collective and personal privilege.
Looking back to last week’s Committee of the Whole 2-day hearings, I couldn’t help but think that we’ve been had. Instead of having the information needed to aid us in our legislative work mainly because some people in the panel of our resource persons who are in charge of the vaccine program were not forthright and honest in their responses to the questions raised by the members of this august chamber.
Nevertheless, we find comfort from the wise words of Winston Churchill, who said and I quote: “Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.”
At the center of the firestorm that had almost consumed the two-day long hearings and had consumed us the most was the Sinovac vaccine for a number of reasons.
Malinaw na malinaw ang mga senyales na may “chosen one” na bakuna laban sa COVID-19 ang gobyerno, sa kabila ng kawalan pa ng Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) sa kahit na anong kumpanyang gumagawa nito.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang binabanggit ng gobyerno na Sinovac lamang ang puwedeng magamit hanggang sa Hunyo ay nagpapatunay ng pagkakaroon na ng “chosen one” na bakuna.
“Can somebody explain why preference is given to the second most expensive vaccine, has lower efficacy, a record of suspended clinical trials and has not even applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) over other vaccines that cost much less, more efficacious and are about to be granted their EUAs?” banggit ni Lacson sa Twitter.
Mas makatuwiran umano para sa mga Pinoy kung ang pagtrato ng gobyerno sa Sinovac ay gagawin din sa mga bakuna ng ibang bansa na di-hamak na mas epektibo at mas mababa ang presyo, ayon sa mambabatas.
“That said, the national government should expedite the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines. To borrow Secretary Harry Roque Jr.’s words, it should not be choosy in buying vaccines,” diin ni Lacson.
After telling ordinary Filipinos not to be choosy in getting their COVID vaccines, the government should apply the same line in expediting the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.
Lacson noted the availability of only Sinovac until June, as well as the replies of officials at Monday’s Senate hearing, indicate China-based Sinovac is the “chosen one.”
“Can somebody explain why preference is given to the second most expensive vaccine, has lower efficacy, a record of suspended clinical trials and has not even applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) over other vaccines that cost much less, more efficacious and are about to be granted their EUAs?” Lacson asked on Twitter.
“That said, the national government should expedite the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines. To borrow Secretary Harry Roque Jr.’s words, it should not be choosy in buying vaccines,” he added.
At the first hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s vaccination efforts, Sen. Lacson detailed how incompetence and lack of urgency slowed down the government’s efforts to procure COVID vaccines.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Commission on Appointments, this Representation as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, presided over a public hearing this morning to deliberate on the nomination of two (2) Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and one (1) Foreign Service Officer Class II of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the public hearing, determined that they are fit and qualified to be in the posts where they are nominated and appointed and therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their appointments for the consent and approval of this body.
“Heavenly Father, to Thee glory is sung in the highest.
“We come unto Thy loving heart, pierced by our ingratitude and sins. Lift those who sit in distress and in darkness.
“Guide us in the path of Thee for the fulfillment of Thy greater glory.
“All this we ask in the name of the strong deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Not even the pandemic and its crippling effects could stop the greed of some lawmakers as they toyed around with the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson lamented Friday.
Lacson said this after the bicameral report on the budget showed not only manipulations in the Department of Public Works and Highways’ budget, but also cuts in the budgets of other departments previously approved under the Senate and House versions of the budget bill.
“Congress bicameral committee report: P83.87B of DPWH infra projects migrated to new areas while appropriations worth P55.52B disappeared. As if it wasn’t enough to satisfy their greed, they cut the budgets of other departments by P28.35B. Story of our lives,” he said on his Twitter account.
“These realignments being capricious and arbitrary on the part of the bicameral conference committee members, they did not involve proper planning by the DPWH. This explains why, as I have pointed out in my interpellation last Wednesday, year in and year out, DPWH suffers one of the lowest budget utilization rates with an annual average of P82 billion from 2011 to 2018 and even lower average disbursement rate since 2017,” he added.