Para sa maluwag na paggalaw ng mga umuuwing overseas Filipino workers (OFW) at pagpanumbalik ng masiglang ekonomiya ng bansa.
Ito ang dalawang mahahalagang puntos na idiniin ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagsuporta at pag-apela sa National Task Force Against COVID-19 na pabilisin ang pagpapatupad ng standard quarantine protocols sa mga Pinoy na nabakunahan na rito sa Pilipinas at sa ibang bansa.
Ayon kay Lacson, hindi na makakapaghintay pa ang ekonomiya kaya’t ito ay dapat nang pabilisin sa pamamagitan ng mas pinagaang na sistema ng paggalaw ng mga ganap nang nabakunahan laban sa COVID-19.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed for the fast-tracking of standard quarantine protocols for vaccinated Filipinos, to benefit not just returning overseas Filipino workers but also our economy.
As he threw his full support behind the National Task Force Against COVID-19’s move to draw up standard quarantine protocols for Filipinos vaccinated here and abroad, Lacson said economic recovery cannot afford to wait.
Maaaring hugutin mula sa P57.3-bilyon na nautang na ang P25 bilyon na hinihingi ng pamahalaan para pambili ng bakuna para sa mga kabataan, ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson.
Batay sa datos ng Philippine Statistics Authority, P30.462 bilyon lamang ang kakailanganin para makapagbakuna ng 68.2 milyong adult Filipinos ngayong taon, ani Lacson.
“Figures from the PSA as of March 28 this year shows the Philippines’ midyear population will reach 110,198,654 by July 1. Of this, 62 percent or 68.323 million are adults. If we multiply this by P446 per dose, including logistical costs, we will need about P30.472 billion to inoculate our adult Filipinos. Thus the difference of P26.83 billion is more than enough to cover the P25-billion requirement to procure the vaccines for our minors,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
“Based on these figures, we may not need to look for an additional P25 billion since it is amply covered by the ‘excess’ in borrowings,” dagdag ng mambabatas.
The P57.3 billion in loans already secured by the government for the procurement of vaccines can cover the P25-billion requirement for the vaccination of minors, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Friday.
Lacson cited updated figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) indicating only P30.462 billion may be needed to inoculate 68.2 million adult Filipinos this year.
“Figures from the PSA as of March 28 this year shows the Philippines’ midyear population will reach 110,198,654 by July 1. Of this, 62 percent or 68.323 million are adults. If we multiply this by P446 per dose, including logistical costs, we will need about P30.472 billion to inoculate our adult Filipinos. Thus the difference of P26.83 billion is more than enough to cover the P25-billion requirement to procure the vaccines for our minors,” Lacson said.
“Based on these figures, we may not need to look for an additional P25 billion since it is amply covered by the ‘excess’ in borrowings,” he added.
Kailangan nang pasadahan ang mga umiiral na health protocols, katulad ng hindi bababa sa pitong araw na hotel quarantine requirement sa mga dumarating sa bansa, dahil nagiging dahilan ang mga ito ng pag-iwas ng ilang dayuhang mamumuhunan na bumalik para ituloy ang pagnenegosyo.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, mapapabilis ang pagsigla ng ating ekonomiya kung matugunan ng mga awtoridad ang isyu na ito.
“This is one more reason for our authorities to make our health and quarantine protocols more responsive – and more importantly, more sensible. We should consider the plight of permanent residents in the Philippines who run small businesses here. They cannot make sense out of this requirement. Thus they may opt not to return here until the requirement is lifted,” ayon kay Lacson.
We can accelerate our much-needed economic recovery if some of our health protocols – such as a hotel quarantine requirement lasting at least seven days – are revisited and made more responsive and sensible, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson said foreign nationals who run businesses in the Philippines are turned off by the prospect of being locked in a hotel, especially if they have already been fully vaccinated before returning to the Philippines.
“This is one more reason for our authorities to make our health and quarantine protocols more responsive – and more importantly, more sensible. We should consider the plight of permanent residents in the Philippines who run small businesses here. They cannot make sense out of this requirement. Thus they may opt not to return here until the requirement is lifted,” Lacson said.
Umaapela si Senador Panfilo Lacson sa Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ng kahit na kaunting pagluluwag lamang sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols sa mga dumarating na balikbayan at overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Ito ay sa harap ng katotohanang kailangang gumastos nang malaki ang mga balikbayan sa pagsasailalim sa mga proseso, kasama ang pananatili ng ilang araw na “quarantine” sa mga hotel.
“Find the middle ground. We cannot be too stiff, too stringent. May occasion dapat na flexible tayo,” banggit ni Lacson sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee of the Whole sa COVID-19 vaccination program ng pamahalaan.
Small adjustments by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in implementing health protocols can be a big help to our balikbayans and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
This is because balikbayans have had to spend thousands of pesos and suffer much inconvenience including several days’ “quarantine” at a hotel, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said.
“Find the middle ground. We cannot be too stiff, too stringent. May occasion dapat na flexible tayo (There are times we should be flexible),” Lacson said at the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program Tuesday.
Hindi na dapat pang maabala ang paggalaw ng mga umuuwing overseas Filipino workers (OFW) at mga dayuhang mangangalakal na ganap nang bakunado sa mga bansang pinanggalingan kaya dapat na magkaroon ng vaccine passport.
Ito ang rekomendasyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson matapos ang samu’t saring reklamo ng mga pumapasok sa bansa bunga ng napakahigpit pa ring protocol na ipinapatupad ng mga awtoridad kahit pa sa mga kumpleto na ang bakuna laban sa COVID-19 sa mga bansang pinagmulan.
Ayon kay Lacson, dahil sa mga polisiyang ito ay nagdadalawang-isip na umuwi ang maraming OFW kahit pa napakahalaga ang pakay nila, bunga na rin ng matagal na pagkakatengga bago makarating sa patutunguhan batay sa umiiral na protocols.
“For our returning OFWs, at most, we might require them to take a swab test then allow them to go home, then require them to stay at home for 10 days. No need to require them to stay at a hotel. Most of the time, OFWs return to the country because of an emergency. But if you are an OFW and you are required to be quarantined for 10 days, how many days of your leave will go to waste? I don’t think that makes sense,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng ANC.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson batted Monday for a vaccine passport system that will make traveling to the Philippines easier for vaccinated people, especially for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreign investors.
Lacson said many returning OFWs and foreign investors are reluctant to come to the Philippines because of tight protocols, especially those that may require them to spend more than a week in a quarantine facility not necessarily of their choice.
“For our returning OFWs, at most, we might require them to take a swab test then allow them to go home, then require them to stay at home for 10 days. No need to require them to stay at a hotel. Most of the time, OFWs return to the country because of an emergency. But if you are an OFW and you are required to be quarantined for 10 days, how many days of your leave will go to waste? I don’t think that makes sense,” he said in an interview on ANC.
“Also, our tourism sector and investment will suffer. If a potential investor who would like to come here learns of the requirements that include a swab test and stay at a quarantine facility not of his or her choice, would he or she still come?” he added.
Mas masigasig pang hakbang ng mga vaccination czar at pagbibigay kalayaan sa mga nangangasiwa at nagpapatupad ng pagbabakuna na gumamit ng epektibong sistema ang susi para maging matagumpay ang misyon ng pamahalaan na herd immunity laban sa COVID-19.
Isiniwalat ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson bilang payo sa mga awtoridad matapos ang pinakahuling pagpupulong sa pagitan ng ilang senador na kinabibilangan niya, Senate President Vicente Sotto III at Senador Ronald Dela Rosa; at ni testing czar Vivencio Dizon at contact tracing czar Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
“We advised them to be more assertive. Senate President Sotto even said that if they are sure they are right and their ‘superiors’ are wrong, they can ‘defy’ them. Also, it is the people on the ground such as mayors who can appreciate the situation better. So it is important that they be given flexibility and more autonomy in the implementation of the vaccination program,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam sa kanya ng CNN Philippines.
Isiniwalat din ni Lacson na magdadaos ang Senado ng Committee of the Whole hearing sa Martes, Hunyo 15, alas-10 ng umaga, bilang bahagi ng oversight function nito para alamin kung paano ginamit ng pamahalaan ang P82.5 bilyon na inilaan sa programa sa pagbabakuna, at mga kaakibat na paraan at sistema.
More assertiveness from the country’s vaccination czars and more flexibility for implementers and decision-makers on the ground will be crucial to the success of the government’s efforts to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination drive and achieve herd immunity quickly, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson stressed this following a meeting Thursday night between him, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Ronald dela Rosa on one hand, and testing czar Vivencio Dizon and contact tracing czar Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong on the other.
He also said the Senate will conduct a Committee of the Whole hearing on Tuesday, June 15, to exercise its oversight function on the government’s utilization of its P82.5-billion for the vaccination program and to evaluate the protocols and guidelines used by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The hearing is initially scheduled at 10 a.m.
“We advised them to be more assertive. Senate President Sotto even said that if they are sure they are right and their ‘superiors’ are wrong, they can ‘defy’ them. Also, it is the people on the ground such as mayors who can appreciate the situation better. So it is important that they be given flexibility and more autonomy in the implementation of the vaccination program,” Lacson said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
It’s bad enough that the national government virtually controls which brand/s of vaccines to procure. Pati ba naman ang pagpili kung ano ituturok sa braso ng mga Pilipino, hindi pa rin pwede mamili ang Pilipino?
Bakit ko naman pipiliin ang brand na 50% lang ang efficacy at wala man lang application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), against other brands with 79% and/or 95% efficacy and have pending EUA approval from the Food and Drug Administration?
Having said that, we can only pray and hope that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health properly implement the vaccination plan they laid out during our Senate hearing Monday.
While the plan may sound good, the difference is in the implementation – the reaction and responses to emergencies. Without proper execution, a plan no matter how good it is written and presented, won’t mean anything.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Expectations at President Duterte’s SONA [00:11]
* Latest corruption and mismanagement at PhilHealth [07:20]
* Claims that IATF is a failure in dealing with COVID-19 [37:04]
In an interview on Abante Radyo Tabloidista, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* ABS-CBN franchise [30:25]
* Fake news vs Anti-Terrorism Law [37:22]
* Cops accused of violating the law [16:07]
* Dealing with COVID at home [21:20]
* DOH issues in handling COVID pandemic [24:05]
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* overpricing at DOH amid COVID-19 threat [0:19]
* DOH insiders provided information on irregularities [4:12]
* expose is meant to put DOH on notice [5:58]
* wrong decisions due to wrong data [11:12]
* IATF members dismayed with DOH performance [22:50]
* proposed tax on Netflix [25:48]
In an interview on DZRH, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* post-ECQ scenarios [1:01]
* continued lack of testing, contact tracing [2:46]
* Senate teleconferencing due to COVID-19 [12:59]
* Pagcor allowing reopening of POGO [21:48]
* mensahe sa mga pasaway [28:21]
Many senior citizens are far healthier and have stronger immune systems than their younger counterparts. To indiscriminately prohibit them from going out of their homes is not only arbitrary. It is downright insensitive.
Just to give credence to my argument: Ang ibang male Senate staff ko nga na di hamak na mas bata kesa sa akin, hindi makasabay sa akin pag gumagamit ako ng stairs paakyat sa sixth floor office ko. Yung iba naman, laging may sipon at laging uubo-ubo. Samantalang ako, laging malakas ang immune system.
Did those behind such a blanket age-based restriction think the idea through thoroughly? If they think they did, they should have their heads examined first by Dr. Clarita Avila – the chief administrative officer of the National Center for Mental Health who was gagged before being “demoted” and reassigned to the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Las Piñas City by authority of the Secretary of Health, for issuing updates on the COVID-19 situation in the facility – before coming out with inconsiderate ideas like this latest one.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases may need to rethink this policy such that it does not impose unfair restrictions on seniors, especially those who are physically fit. The dire question is: When will we see other sweeping and irrational moves?
For one, through the private sector’s initiative in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and other government agencies, massive rapid testing will start tomorrow, April 14, if it is not being done already.
Secondly, contact tracing, hopefully, will now be more efficient with the latest guideline issued by IATF for mandatory disclosure of COVID-19 infected persons for more efficient self-quarantine.
Thirdly, after a long and unnecessary delay, the FDA approved the use of test kits – including at least 10 rapid antibody test kits and 23 PCR-based test kits as of April 8. The delay was amid the willingness of private donors to spend big money to help accelerate mass testing through the use of rapid antibody test kits, and even after we asked the FDA about the usefulness of such rapid test kits as early as our March 24 caucus prior to our 18-hour plenary debates to pass Republic Act 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal As One Act) on the same day, with some Cabinet members in attendance.
What I can’t understand for the life of me is why the DOH keeps issuing circulars that seem to circumvent Sec 4(j) of the Bayanihan Act that provides for some leeway for donated test kits that otherwise have already been in use in other jurisdictions, by mandating the turnover of all donations to DOH but would not allow its use. This is compounded by a requirement for accreditation that includes, among others, an application by the manufacturer or distributor of such health products. Since these are donations and therefore not for business purposes, how in the world will these donors look for local distributors, or look for the manufacturer to file for an application? Sec 4(j) specifically states that all donated health products need only a certification from the regulatory agency/ies of the country that allows the use of such health products for FDA to approve the same.
On the other hand, there is no saying that Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. is not doing a good job as chief implementer of the government’s national response against COVID-19, by playing catch-up for the inadequacies of some people.