Bunga ng kinakaharap na ga-bundok na problema ng bansa na lumala pa dahil sa pandemya, nananawagan si Senador Panfilo Lacson ng kahit na pansamantalang pagkalma sa katiwalian sa pamahalaan at bangayan ng nagbabanggaang grupong pulitikal.
Ayon sa mambabatas, hindi pa malinaw ang hinaharap at kinakailangan na isipin ng lahat na Pilipino ang kapakanan ng bayan at kalimutan na muna, lalo na ng mga mapagsamantala, ang pagpapalago ng sariling bulsa.
“All of us Filipinos should think of the national interest and unite to promote it. Those Filipinos engaging in corruption now, especially those wanting to make dishonest money from COVID, are not exempt from this,” banggit ni Lacson.
Una nang pumasok ang mga impormasyon sa tanggapan ng mambabatas hinggil sa korapsiyon sa pagbili at suplay ng testing kits at mga makina, face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) at mga kahalintulad na kagamitan sa pagtukoy at proteksiyon laban sa COVID-19.
With the myriad of problems the country is facing made worse by the pandemic, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday called for a much-needed and long-overdue break from corruption and bickering.
Lacson said no one – especially those who continue to engage in corruption to profit from the pandemic – should be exempted from putting national interest above personal aggrandizement.
“All of us Filipinos should think of the national interest and unite to promote it. Those Filipinos engaging in corruption now, especially those wanting to make dishonest money from COVID, are not exempt from this,” Lacson said as he cited information reaching him involving corruption in the procurement and supply of testing kits and machines, face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) and similar items.
“Can they at least forget about their greed during the pandemic? I am not saying they can resume their corrupt ways once the pandemic is over, but especially during this period when we face so many problems, they should pause if they cannot stop,” he added in an interview on Eagle News.
While the intention may be good, let us first take a serious look at the situation. Since the Department of Budget and Management already said that the government coffers have dried up, hence funds are no longer available, the bigger question remains: Can we still afford more borrowings intended for dole-outs instead of for other productive purposes to boost our economy? The last thing we need is ending up in a ‘Sisyphean’ situation.
Our best option is to have a sense of urgency and allow the private sector more participation with better flexibility in the vaccination program – true to the government’s ‘whole-of-nation approach’ theme, which is turning out to be mere platitude and lip service.
Then, if we really need to pass Bayanihan 3, the national and local governments must first get their act together to update the data on the intended recipients of the social amelioration program since what the Department of Social Welfare and Development is using is a five-year-old list that is already out of date – hence real-time needs and priorities are not being properly addressed, not to mention the corruption involved in the distribution of such dole-outs because of such a defective list.
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.
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.
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.
In an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* P1-M ‘uniform’ appropriations for at least 42 congressional districts in DPWH’s 2021 budget
* need to prioritize vaccines, R&D in 2021 budget
I want to read the full text of the report first so I can make a more intelligent analysis and responsive comments.
That said, let me just say at the outset that obviously, the materials that we provided and shared with Sec. Guevarra and the composite task force were put into good use at the very least. This is good reason enough to feel gratified that we did our share in taking the first big step in making those criminally and administratively liable for the misuse and abuse of public monies accountable.
At least, for a change, we can hope that these “vultures” will suffer for their misdeeds to satisfy their greed at the expense of the sick and the unhealthy among our countrymen.