Tag: vaccines

On the President’s Allowing the Private Sector to Import COVID-19 Vaccines ‘At Will’

I would say, it is the President’s best birthday gift to himself.

The next challenge, however, is compliance to his instructions by the concerned health authorities – including how long it will take to approve the applications to import their vaccines under the existing tripartite agreement. Then there’s the availability of vaccines in the world market, not to mention the time lag between booking and actual deliveries of the vaccines.

Had the order been issued at the time when the private sector was clamoring to be allowed to procure their own vaccines, subject to the usual existing regulations and protocols issued by the World Health Organization, by now the country would likely have been vaccinating en masse and nearing herd immunity, thanks in large part to the private sector.

As I had repeatedly suggested in the past, in a time of crisis, government should look at the private sector as partners rather than competitors. Unfortunately, some of those in charge of handling the pandemic do not think the same way as most of us do.

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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?
Continue reading “Nasaan ang Bakuna? Lacson Says Filipinos Deserve Lowdown on Vaccines Amid Loans”

Ping, May Panawagan sa mga Nagbibigay ng Maling Impormasyon sa Pangulo Tungkol sa Bakuna

Huwag bigyan ng maling impormasyon ang Presidente tungkol sa bakuna, dahil hindi siya kabute na sa madilim na lugar pinapalaki at hindi nakikita kung ano ang ipinapakain.

Ito ang panawagan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga nagbigay sa Pangulo ng impormasyon na hindi agarang mapapadalhan ng European Union ang bakuna laban sa COVID-19.

“Don’t treat the President like a mushroom – kept in the dark and fed with S*^t,” mariing banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson to Those Who Fed President False Info: Don’t Treat Him Like a Mushroom
Continue reading “Ping, May Panawagan sa mga Nagbibigay ng Maling Impormasyon sa Pangulo Tungkol sa Bakuna”

Lacson to Those Who Fed President False Info: Don’t Treat Him Like a Mushroom

“Don’t treat the President like a mushroom – kept in the dark and fed with S*^t.”

On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson scored the great disservice done to the nation by those responsible for feeding the President false information on the exclusion of the Philippines by the European Union from the vaccine distribution.

The EU had reassured that the Philippines is exempted from such an export ban.

Related: Ping, May Panawagan sa mga Nagbibigay ng Maling Impormasyon sa Pangulo Tungkol sa Bakuna
Continue reading “Lacson to Those Who Fed President False Info: Don’t Treat Him Like a Mushroom”

Ping: Ekonomiya, Mabilis na Ibabangon ng National ID

Bibilis ang pagbangon ng ekonomiya ng bansa kung ganap na maipapatupad ang Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act o ang National ID.

Ito ang nakikita ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, isa sa mga may-akda at ang sponsor sa Senado ng naturang batas na ngayon ay nasa inisyal na bahagi na ng pagpapatupad.

“The lack of identification creates formidable barriers for the downtrodden and the poor, and creates even larger barriers between the government and the people. Hence, we should push for the implementation of the National ID if we want to further strengthen our response not only against the pandemic, particularly in the roll-out of the much-awaited vaccines, but in many of our future endeavors,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa kanyang pagsasalita sa pangatlong taunang economic and political briefing ng Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School.

Related: Lacson: Full Implementation of National ID to Speed Up Economic Recovery
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Lacson: Full Implementation of National ID to Speed Up Economic Recovery

A full implementation of the Philippine Identification System (National ID) Act will speed up the country’s economic recovery following a 9.5-percent contraction in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson, one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate, said the National ID system will promote financial inclusion and streamline government services – both of which are needed at this time.

“The lack of identification creates formidable barriers for the downtrodden and the poor, and creates even larger barriers between the government and the people. Hence, we should push for the implementation of the National ID if we want to further strengthen our response not only against the pandemic, particularly in the roll-out of the much-awaited vaccines, but in many of our future endeavors,” he said at the third annual economic and political briefing of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School.

Related: Ping: Ekonomiya, Mabilis na Ibabangon ng National ID
Continue reading “Lacson: Full Implementation of National ID to Speed Up Economic Recovery”

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
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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.

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