May sapat na pondo ang pamahalaan para makamit ang target na herd immunity laban sa COVID-19 para sa taon na ito, at ang kailangan lamang ay tiyakin na hindi kapusin ang suplay at maipamahagi nang tama ang mga bakuna.
Ito ang natumbok ni Senador Panfilo Lacson batay sa mga datus na inilabas ni Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III sa Committee of the Whole hearing ng Senado sa programa ng pamahalaan sa pagbabakuna nitong Martes.
Batay sa pag-aaral ni Lacson, may sobra pang P5 bilyon ang pamahalaan kung ang target sa herd immunity ngayong 2021 ang pagbabatayan.
“At P446 per dose including logistical costs, we will need P52.3 billion. We have already secured P57.3 billion through borrowings, so we have a surplus of P5 billion for herd immunity,” banggit ni Lacson sa pagdinig.
“So money is not the problem here. Ang kailangan na lang dito maka-procure ng vaccines at may rollout,” dagdag ni Lacson.
The government has more than enough funds to achieve herd immunity at least for this year, and should focus more on ensuring the efficient rollout of COVID vaccines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.
Lacson cited figures from Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III indicating government has P5 billion more than needed for herd immunity for 2021.
“At P446 per dose including logistical costs, we will need P52.3 billion. We have already secured P57.3 billion through borrowings, so we have a surplus of P5 billion for herd immunity,” Lacson said during the Senate Committee of the Whole’s hearing on the national COVID-19 vaccination program.
“So money is not the problem here. Ang kailangan na lang dito maka-procure ng vaccines at may rollout (We just need to focus more on procuring the vaccines and rolling them out),” he added.
For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III agreed: “The bottom line is the rollout.”
Before the suspension of the said hearing, the Committee had requested the following:
1. For various MUPs to submit to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) the necessary data with respect to the new entrants, so the latter will be able to update its actuarial study dated 05 January 2021; and
2. For the agencies to submit complete data on the real properties to aid the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in computing the total value of assets that may be considered in establishing the seed fund.
This Committee has been informed that, to date, the GSIS is yet to update its actuarial study due to either incomplete or delayed submission of some agencies. We can skip this for now as we were told the aggregate amount involved is not substantial enough to contribute to the reduction of subsidies coming from the GAA. Not to mention that the incomplete submission of data has already delayed the crafting of the committee report.
This is a continuation of our previous public hearing held last October 5, 2020, on the MUP pension bills referred to this committee, which was suspended with the commitment that an actuarial study would be conducted by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) together with our key stakeholders, such as the Bureau of Treasury and the MUPs, among others.
Just to refresh our memory, last year and this year’s appropriations reflect the veracity of this serious financial concern, given the steep increase in the MUPs’ pension funding from P80 billion in 2020 to P120 billion under the 2021 General Appropriations Act.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, one of the few sensible souls in the Cabinet, has proposed to prioritize the hiring of contact tracers en masse to boost efforts to stop transmission and provide jobs to stimulate the economy through spending.
Contact tracing is a key first step in addressing the COVID-19 threat. It should provide the baseline data or reference on who to test. Without it, our mass testing will be like shooting at the moon or running around like headless chickens.
Kung maipapatupad ang mungkahing ito nang maayos, maaari nating lutasin agad ang dalawang problema.
Ang bagay na ito ay nasa kamay na ng liderato ng Department of Health: Maiimplementa kaya nila ang mungkahi ni Secretary Dominguez?