Ping says no funds for Covid-19 vaccine under re-enacted budget

Ping says no funds for Covid-19 vaccine under re-enacted budget

Sen. Ping Lacson

By Junex Doronio

STRESSING THE VALUE OF LIFE, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has disclosed that with a reenacted national budget, there are no funds allocated to purchase vaccines for the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The feisty senator from Cavite who is also a prospective vice presidential candidate in 2022 pointed out that if the approval of the 2021 budget is delayed and the 2020 budget is reenacted, a lot of lives are at stake because there is no allocation for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccine.

“May mga items (sa 2021 budget) na naka-dedicate para sa Covid-19… Buhay ang pinag-uusapan dito. Kung walang item sa 2021 budget kasi walang 2021 budget, hindi pwedeng gumastos ang gobyerno ng kaukulang halaga para sa pagbili ng vaccine,” Lacson lamented.

He explained that when the two houses of Congress passed in 2019 the 2020 budget, no one had an inkling that there would be a pandemic.

The senator stressed that the government cannot spend for Covid-19 if it is not included in the budget.

“For example, may P2.5B although kulang ito para sa vaccine. Ang mako-cover nito, 3.9M Filipinos. Plano nga namin kasi may pandemya, dapat madagdagan pa yan at ang coverage madagdagan din. Kung walang item sa 2021 budget kasi walang 2021 budget, hindi pwedeng gumastos ang gobyerno ng kaukulang halaga para sa pagbili ng vaccine,” Lacson stressed.

He noted that as the country is still reeling from the onslaught of Covid-19, the passage of the 2021 budget is paramount.

“Especially sa situation natin dahil may Covid-19 na hinaharap. Kapag naantala ang budget at depende kung gaano katagal maantala ang pagpirma ng Pangulo, may mga items na naka-dedicate para sa COVID-19. Maantala yan… At iba pa ang ibang programa sa Covid-19, lahat yan masasakripisyo kasi walang budget sa 2020 dahil pinasa ito noong 2019, hindi pa natin alam magkakaroon ng COVID-19. So yan isang malaking problema,” Lacson said.

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