Senators upbeat about COVID-19 inoculations after Duterte order easing procurement by private firms

Published March 30, 2021, 2:54 PM

by Mario Casayuran

More senators on Tuesday, March 30, welcomed the decision of President Duterte to allow the private sector to import “at will” coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines as the Philippines reels from the devastating effect of the pandemic.

(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Imee Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate economic affairs committee, said the relaxed vaccine procurement gives hopes to families.

‘’At bumangon muli ang mga negosyo na makabalik trabaho taying lahat. Amen, bawas penitensya sa  Holy Week! (Businesses will reopen, jobs will resume. Our hardships will be reduced, Amen).,’ she added.

Senator Ramon ‘’Bong’’ Revilla Jr. emphasized that the President is right in allowing private companies to import vaccines “at will”.

‘’I hope this pronouncement clears up any confusion about the policy, especially on the side of government implementers. Malaking bagay ito para sa pagbabakuna at pagbabalik sa normal (This is a big opportunity for us to be vaccinated and allow things go back to normal),’’ he added.

 ‘’This will speed up the acquisition of vaccines and facilitate the inoculation of the public,’’ he said. 

‘’Kung sa projection ni Secretary Galvez at ng NTF (National Task Force) ay sa 2022 pa natin makakamit ang vaccine security – hindi pa kasama diyan ang inoculation – papabor ang pag-angkat ng bakuna at pag-vaccinate ng mga pribadong kompanya sa kanilang mga tauhan sa pagpapabilis ng vaccination (Czar Secretary Galvez and the NTF had projected that vaccine security might be attained in 2022, excluding vaccination. Thus I favor the private sector buying vaccines and inoculating their employees),’’ he added.

‘’This will also help in the public acceptance of vaccines. The more who gets vaccinated, the better for the health of the population and the economy,’’ he said.

In so far as Senator Grace Poe is concerned, ‘’the faster we inoculate, the quicker we can rev up the economy from the slump.’’

‘’Every dose the private sector purchases means a dose saved by the government, which must be channeled to the priority sectors,’’ she said.

 ‘’With their resources and manpower, companies can augment vaccine supply and scale up the administration of doses to benefit our people,’’ she pointed out.

 ‘’Our country needs synchronized efforts between the government and the private sector to allow our vaccination program to gather pace and guarantee sufficient levels of immunization for the Filipinos,’’ she added.

‘’Speed and trust are going to be keys to an effective vaccination program,’’ she stated.