National Task Force Against Covid-19 and vaccine czar, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.
MANILA – National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., on Tuesday stood firm that there is “no corruption” in the government’s efforts to procure coronavirus vaccines.
While the government recognizes the right of the people to know the details of vaccine deals, Galvez said they cannot easily disclose premature terms of transactions since all contracts are still under negotiations.
He added that the pricing of the vaccines is bound by a so-called confidential disclosure agreement (CDA).
“Wala pong korapsyon sa ating negosasyon. Inuulit ko po, wala pong korapsyon (There is no corruption on our negotiations. I repeat, there is no corruption),” he said in a public briefing.
The CDA, he said, is not just being undertaken in the Philippines, but also in other countries negotiating for Covid-19 jabs.
Galvez noted that vaccine manufacturers have the right to terminate any contract or remove the country’s access to Covid-19 vaccines once the CDA will be breached.
“Sinisiguro ko po sa inyo na hindi po papasok ang pamahalaan sa kahit anong negosasyon, o pipirma sa isang kontrata kung tayo po ay madedehado (I assure you that the government will not enter or sign a contract if we are at a disadvantage),” he said.
He said the government’s ongoing talks with pharmaceutical companies uphold transparency and accountability.
“We will always try to negotiate for vaccines that are safe, effective, and cost-efficient,” he said.
Galvez said revealing the vaccine’s price list during negotiations could affect the credibility and reputation of the government to negotiate.
It could also compromise the country’s secured 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from various pharmaceutical companies, he added.
However, he assured that all the details of the transaction for vaccine acquisition will be divulged once negotiations are finalized.
Meanwhile, Galvez said the government’s vaccination roadmap against Covid-19 is still on track.
The task force will conduct a series of inspections for cold chain storage facilities and a dry-run for the inoculation program.
He said the government will not administer vaccines that are not approved by the country’s vaccine experts panel and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Mapapawalang-bisa po ang anumang kasunduan sa mga vaccine manufacturers kapag hindi po sila nakapasa sa panuntunan upang magkaroon ng EUA, o Emergency Use Authorization (Any agreement with vaccine manufacturers will be revoked if they do not pass the rules of getting an EUA),” he said.
Galvez said the country’s fund managers, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, are closely monitoring developments to ensure that the funding scheme for vaccine procurement will be properly regulated.
The government has been negotiating with seven pharmaceutical firms Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Jonhson&Johnson, Sinovac, Moderna, and Gamaleya Institute. (AI/PNA)