Gordon cites importance of granting Philippine Red Cross access to COVID-19 vaccine procurement

Published February 23, 2021, 3:55 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Richard Gordon has urged the Senate to make sure that the bill seeking to expedite the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines will allow the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to also procure them.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Gordon said Senate Bill No. 2057 or the proposed COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 should also cover international human organizations like the PRC, to ensure that the most vulnerable would be inoculated.

The senator, who is also chairman of the PRC, said the COVID-19 vaccines that would be procured by the organization would be administered also to individuals consistent with the government’s priority list set.

“The idea is for them to get it from the Red Cross if we can get it, but they will have to donate one is to one. If they get one vaccine, they will donate one vaccine to the most vulnerable,” Gordon said.

“So, if they get 2,000 vaccines, they give us 2,000, which we can now distribute in accordance with the government plan to add to those who need it. This will now add more depth to our supply of vaccines and at the same time, expand it and make it faster,” he said, in proposing amendments to Section 5 of the bill.

Gordon also proposed that the Department of Health (DOH), the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF), local government units (LGUs), and private entities procuring COVID-19 vaccines may partner with the PRC in the administration or distribution, and inoculation of the vaccines.

He noted that, subject to certain conditions, the current Section 5 allows private entities to procure only in cooperation with the DOH and NTF through a multiparty agreement with the said agencies and the vaccine supplier.

Under the bill, vaccines purchased by private entities shall also be for the sole and exclusive use of such companies, without prejudice to the multiparty agreement.

  Angara, author and sponsor of Senate Bill 2057, had agreed to study Gordon’s proposal.