Tag: Francisco Duque III

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
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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
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Letter to the Publisher: Response to Vic Sumalinog’s Column [Mindanao Times]

To Mindanao Times: Please allow us to set the record straight regarding claims made by Mr. Vic N. Sumalinog in his March 16, 2021 column regarding Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson – including his insinuations that personal and/or political motives are behind Sen. Lacson’s less-than-glowing comments on some issues involving Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.

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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
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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?
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Tanong ni Ping: Sobrang Taas na Presyo ng DOH sa Sinovac Vaccines, Sino Nagdikta?

Sino kaya ang nagdikta sa Department of Health (DOH) kaya mataas ang presyo ng Sinovac vaccines na dati nitong binanggit?

Tinanong ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson matapos na nagsabing “not totally acceptable” ang paliwanag ni DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III na hinanap niya lang sa Google ang presyo ng nabanggit na bakuna.

“Unverified reports that some shenanigans working behind the scene might have fed the DOH the unreasonably high price of the Sinovac vaccine could lend credence to the attempt to dupe the Filipino taxpayers even during a pandemic,” pagbubunyag ng mambabatas.

Lumalabas kasi na masyadong malayo ang isiniwalat na presyo na isiniwalat ng DOH kumpara sa mga report na naglalabasan.

“As early as Oct. 14, 2020, it was reported that the price of Sinovac vaccines in Indonesia was about P683. There is also a price range of P650 to P700 per dose that was relayed to us. This is quite far from the P3,629.50 submitted by the DOH to the Senate finance committee in December last year for the 2021 budget deliberations,” nagtatakang pahayag ng senador.

Related: Lacson: Who Fed DOH Unreasonable High Price of Sinovac Vaccines?
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Lacson: Who Fed DOH Unreasonable High Price of Sinovac Vaccines?

Who fed the Department of Health the unreasonable prices of Sinovac vaccines in the Philippines?

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson asked this Monday as he deemed not totally acceptable the explanation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that they “Googled” the price of Sinovac vaccines.

“Unverified reports that some shenanigans working behind the scene might have fed the DOH the unreasonably high price of the Sinovac vaccine could lend credence to the attempt to dupe the Filipino taxpayers even during a pandemic,” he said.

“As early as Oct. 14, 2020, it was reported that the price of Sinovac vaccines in Indonesia was about P683. There is also a price range of P650 to P700 per dose that was relayed to us. This is quite far from the P3,629.50 submitted by the DOH to the Senate finance committee in December last year for the 2021 budget deliberations,” Lacson added.

Related: Tanong ni Ping: Sobrang Taas na Presyo ng DOH sa Sinovac Vaccines, Sino Nagdikta?
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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
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Privilege Speech on the National Vaccination Program

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.

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