Duterte asks Dominguez to attend Senate hearing on PH vaccination budget

Published June 14, 2021, 10:50 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

For the sake of transparency, the government is prepared to explain its coronavirus vaccination efforts before a Senate inquiry on Tuesday, June 15.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III gives President Rodrigo Duterte an update on the funds used for the COVID vaccination program on June 14, 2021 (Malacañang)

President Duterte has directed Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to appear before the hearing to explain the government’s efforts, including the funds for the vaccination program.

According to the President, the government will remain transparent and provide the answers even if the lawmakers would ask the same questions posed in the past.

“Bukas bantayan ninyo ‘yong congressional hearing sa Senate kasi mayroon na naman silang itatanong (Tomorrow, watch the congressional hearing in the Senate because they will be asking questions) I’m sure that the questions will be the same as our answers were or are noon, pareho pa din — pareho ‘yan, walang nagbago (They’re the same, nothing has changed),” he said during a televised address Monday night June 14.

“But still, in the spirit of transparency, we can do it even he — ah everyday talking to them hanggang maintindihan nila ang wherewithal nito kung bakit ganito ang bakuna (until they understand the wherewithal about the vaccines) I think the most eloquent articulation would be given by the Secretary of Finance. He will be there early tomorrow,” he said.

Duterte said the government provides periodic reports on COVID and related issues since people deserved to know the truth.

The Senate is set to conduct a hearing on Tuesday to look into how the government has been using public funds for the vaccination program. Government protocols in curbing the outbreak will also be tackled during the Senate hearing.

The government has set aside more than P80 billion for the COVID vaccination program, particularly the purchase of the life-saving drugs. Additional funds are being considered to procure more vaccines for the younger Filipinos.