Eleazar calls for strong private sector role in vax program

Eleazar calls for strong private sector role in vax program

MANILA — With stocks of vials assured for an ample supply of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines globally, it is time that the national government considers allowing the private sector to deal directly with the manufacturers and ensure a more sustainable and dependable supply of life-saving vaccines for Filipinos, according to Partido Reporma senatorial bet Guillermo Lorenzo Tolentino Eleazar.

In a statement just after his arrival from visitations in the Visayas and Mindanao, the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief disclosed that in allowing the private sector to be an active partner in the government’s vaccination program, the government would be able to sustain the momentum for a more aggressive inoculation effort in the country.

Eleazar urged the Duterte administration to start reviewing and revising the policy on Covid-19 vaccine procurement and authorize private firms to purchase their own vaccines.

“If we grant the private sector greater participation in the vaccination campaign, the government can focus its resources on the inoculation of our frontliners, uniformed personnel, and the vulnerable sectors such as our senior citizens and those with comorbidities,” he pointed out.

“The amount the government will save can be channeled to efforts to help economic recovery post-pandemic,” he added.

Under Republic Act 11525 or the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, private companies and local government units (LGU) are authorized to procure vaccines that were given emergency use authorization through a tripartite agreement with manufacturers and the national government, represented by the Department of Health (DoH) and the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF).

Prior to Eleazar’s remarks, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, the principal author of the said law in the House of Representatives, had stated that he was open to introducing amendments to allow private companies to directly purchase vaccines for their workers and their dependents.

He will push to devolve certain functions in the Covid-19 vaccination program from the national government to the local governments.

“Granting the private sector authority to directly purchase Covid-19 shots will relieve pressure on government resources considering that vaccine procurement and administration entails a lot of logistical challenges,” the House Speaker stressed. (ai/mtvn)

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