By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Richard J. Gordon on Monday suggested amendments to Senate Bill No 2057 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 to allow procurement by international humanitarian organizations of vaccines to ensure that the most vulnerable could be inoculated.
Gordon wanted the bill to include a provision that states that the international organizations such as the Red Cross Movement, particularly the Philippine Red Cross may procure vaccines unit for the use of individuals consistent with the 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. 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 Section 5 of the law.
Gordon also proposed that the Department of Health, the National Task Force, local government units, and private entities procuring COVID-19 vaccines may partner with the PRC in the administration or distribution, and inoculation of the vaccines.
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. Vaccines procured by private entities shall be for the sole and exclusive use of such companies, without prejudice to the multiparty agreement.
Senator Angara, author, and sponsor of the bill agreed to study the amendments. (AI/MTVN)