Press Release
January 5, 2021

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on investigating Covid-19 vaccine black market

I respect the decision of the Senate President, as Chair of the Senate CoW, but I feel that it is our duty to get to the bottom of this. It is government's responsibility to crack down this COVID-19 vaccine black market. Whether it's the PSG, the POGO workers or any member of the public, the use of unregulated vaccine is unlawful. Illegal at delikado. We can't allow EO 464 to be used too broadly at the expense of public health.

COVID-19 is the most real threat in this pandemic. Ang illegal vaccine contraband na ito ay banta sa buhay ng Pilipino at magpapabagal lang sa pandemic response natin. An unsafe and unauthorized vaccine could make this pandemic worse than it already is. Whoever is involved in this black market should be put behind bars.

Kailangan natin protektahan ang integridad ng mga regulating agencies natin. The BoC and the FDA should be put on high alert for vaccine smuggling. It is the responsibility of Health Sec. Duque to mobilize the agencies under him to guard against and put an end to this vaccine black market. ?

If as early as now the government cannot control unverified and possibly life-threatening vaccines from entering the market, people's trust in any COVID-19 vaccine, even if officially distributed, will only go down. Ayon sa OCTA report, 75% ng mga taga-Metro Manila ay ayaw na magpabakuna. Aanhin pa natin ang bakuna kung walang may gusto magpabakuna? At kung kaunti lang ang magpapabakuna, di natin makakamit ang herd immunity, at wala ding silbi ang vaccination plan natin.

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