Tag: Carlito Galvez

Ping: Maaring Desperado na Mga Tao Kaya Nabuo ang Community Pantry

Image Courtesy: CNN Philippines

Senyales ng pagiging desperado na ng mamamayan bunga ng kawalan ng tulong mula sa pamahalaan sa panahon ng pandemya ang paglutang ng mga community pantry sa ilang lugar sa Metro Manila.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, bagama’t isang magandang gawain at ehemplo ng pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa ng mamamayan ang community pantry, sa kabilang banda ay makikita rin ang desperasyon ng mga tao dahil hindi na nila maasahan sa tulong ang pamahalaan.

“It is good that through the community pantries, we see mutual aid by neighbors and barangay residents. But this is also a sign of desperation, that people can no longer rely on government to help them,” pagsiwalat ng mambabatas sa panayam sa kanya ng DZBB radio.

Kasabay nito ay nagpaalala rin ang mambabatas sa mga nagtutungo sa mga nabanggit na lugar.

“That said, those involved in community pantries must also remember to follow the proper health protocols to make sure they do not get infected,” dagdag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Community Pantries Welcome, But May Signal ‘Desperation’ Amid Continued COVID Crisis
Continue reading “Ping: Maaring Desperado na Mga Tao Kaya Nabuo ang Community Pantry”

Lacson: Community Pantries Welcome; Signal ‘Desperation’ Amid Continued COVID Crisis

Image Courtesy: CNN Philippines

While they are a welcome development, the makeshift community pantries that have popped up in parts of Metro Manila amid the continuing COVID-19 crisis may also be considered a sign of desperation, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.

Lacson said it is good that residents take the initiative to help each other, but added such efforts show they can no longer rely on the government for help.

“It is good that through the community pantries, we see mutual aid by neighbors and barangay residents. But this is also a sign of desperation, that people can no longer rely on government to help them,” he said in an interview on DZBB radio.

Related: Ping: Maaring Desperado na Mga Tao Kaya Nabuo ang Community Pantry
Continue reading “Lacson: Community Pantries Welcome; Signal ‘Desperation’ Amid Continued COVID Crisis”

Ping: Nasaan Ka, Bakuna?

Nasa mahigit P126 bilyon na ang aprubadong utang ng bansa para sa pagbili ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19. Pero bukod sa donasyon ng Tsina at COVAX, nasaan ang mga bakunang dapat ay nabili sa pamamagitan ng naturang pondo?

Tanong ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson matapos tingnan ang impormasyon mula sa World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Asian Infrastracture Investment Bank, at ng Department of Finance (DOF).

“Magpakatotoo sana, doon muna sa basic. Sabihin lang ang totoo. So long as the concerned authorities do not recognize the problem, we cannot come up with a solution. Bigyan talaga ang lowdown sa Pilipino at maging decisive sana,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam ng SMNI.

Related: Nasaan ang Bakuna? Lacson Says Filipinos Deserve Lowdown on Vaccines Amid Loans
Continue reading “Ping: Nasaan Ka, Bakuna?”

Nasaan ang Bakuna? Lacson Says Filipinos Deserve Lowdown on Vaccines Amid Loans

As culled from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank records and further articulated in a series of official statements from the Department of Finance, we may now have some P126.75 billion in approved loans for COVID vaccines, but the question remains: Where are the vaccines?

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson raised this question Thursday as he stressed the Filipino people deserve a lowdown from the government on the situation.

Lacson also reiterated his call to the government to treat the private sector as a partner and not as a competitor in the procurement of the much-needed vaccines.

Magpakatotoo sana, doon muna sa basic. Sabihin lang ang totoo. So long as the concerned authorities do not recognize the problem, we cannot come up with a solution. Bigyan talaga ang lowdown sa Pilipino at maging decisive sana,” he said in an interview on SMNI.

Related: Ping: Nasaan Ka, Bakuna?
Continue reading “Nasaan ang Bakuna? Lacson Says Filipinos Deserve Lowdown on Vaccines Amid Loans”

Lacson: Without Acceleration of COVID Vaccination, No Herd Immunity till 2033

Image Courtesy: National Task Force Against COVID-19 Facebook page

Unless the government accelerates the pace of its COVID vaccination efforts, herd immunity may have to wait until about 2033, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed Friday.

Lacson also said there is still much room for improvement in the government’s response to the pandemic, a year after it imposed community quarantine in Metro Manila to stop the spread of COVID.

“Unless we accelerate the pace of vaccination, medyo matatagalan tayo. As of March 10, 114,615 had been vaccinated. At the rate of about 4,000 a day, assuming that the vaccination is not accelerated and assuming we will have the vaccines for the 70-million targeted population for herd immunity, we might not achieve herd immunity until 2033 at the rate we’re doing it now. But if we accelerate and I hope the government would accelerate the vaccination rollout, then maybe we can advance the timetable,” he said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

Continue reading “Lacson: Without Acceleration of COVID Vaccination, No Herd Immunity till 2033”

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
Continue reading “Lacson: Simplify Procedures for Entry of Donated Vaccines”

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
Continue reading “Ping: Isyu sa Sinovac, Sana Naturuan ang Vaccine Officials na Maging Matapat”

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”