Press Release
January 22, 2021

Committee of the whole hearing
Jan. 22, 2021

Sen. Grace Poe: Just a few questions. To Secretary Galvez and Secretary Duque, we filed Senate Bill No. 1994 which is basically for us to have a vaccine passport or a vaccine certificate. I know I asked you this earlier, in the last hearing, but I would like again to get some clarification points from you with regard to, is this something that you are considering? And in what capacity will you do it? Have you already devised some sort of method or guideline on how this will be implemented if ever?

Sec. Francisco Duque III: Sa ngayon po, Mr. Chairman, Madam Senator, pinag-aaralan pa po ito kasi wala pa pong malinaw na ebidensya na nagpapakita na ang mga bakunang ito ay makakaiwas po, ang tinatawag nating transmission or hawaan. Based on the clinical trials lumalabas po they can prevent or reduce deaths, symptomatic.

Poe: Mr. Secretary, if I may interrupt you, the point of this is so that we can keep track who has been given the vaccine. Whether or not the vaccine is a long term prevention or whether it's effective or not, we have to be able to know what was administered to a person. I don't think further study is necessary.

Duque: My apologies, Madam Senator. Kasama na po sa vaccine administration natin, bibigyan po natin ng card ang bawat vaccinee para nakalagay po doon lahat ng detalye 'nung pong kanyang pagbabakuna at kung merong adverse events following immunization, nakalagay din po doon. And the next schedule of vaccination.

Poe: Okay, because you said that there will be an initial rollout of Sinovac, if I'm not mistaken, sometime mid-February, am I correct?

Duque: I defer to Secretary Galvez. I think that information came from him.

Poe: Secretary Galvez, please clarify.

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.: Yes, that is our target--that we will have the rollout on the third week or fourth week of February.

Poe: Third week and how many are you planning to inoculate and where again?

Galvez: Initially, we have the 50,000 is intended for us to have some sort of...

Poe: Can you speak louder, sir?

Galvez: The target that we have this February is 50,000 so that we can have some sort of mini rollout, a rehearsal.

Poe: Did you say 50,000, sir?

Galvez: Affirmative po, Ma'am.

Poe: What areas po? Have you chosen the areas to be prioritized?

Galvez: It will be designated on the different areas, particularly the priority sector, Ma'am.

Poe: My question is this, did you already have FDA approval?

Galvez: Ma'am, we have said earlier that the rollout will only start when we have the EUA approval of the vaccines. The tentative date is only for planning purposes so that we can have some sort of target date for the preparation.

Poe: Okay but how come you were able to plan ahead? This is already assuming that you will be getting the approval, am I correct?

Galvez: Yes, Ma'am, kasi po para lahat ng preparation namin, we will have a targeted rollout so that all the preparation will be anchored on that. So it may be earlier than Feb. 20 so that everybody will take note. And our preparations should be finished by the second week of February or maybe earliest is the end of January.

Poe: So, Secretary, with that in mind, as I was already talking to Secretary Duque, would you have some sort of certificate? And how are you going to be able to record those that received it? What database? Can you walk us through this?

Duque: Ma'am, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, meron po tayo sa vaccine administration plan, meron po tayong master listing ng lahat po ng mga vaccinees. That will be generated at the LGU level and kasama rin po ito sa ating micro planning, a bottom-up type of planning together with the LGUs. So we will validate all the list of vaccinees coming from the priority groups or sectors. So ito pong 50,000 na pinag-uusapan kanina, ang pagkakaintindi ko po ibibigay muna ito doon sa ating mga referral, COVID referral, hospitals. Para ito pong nasasakupan, ang ating mga healthcare workers.

Poe: Okay, Secretary, kunyari ako nagpabakuna o kung sinuman, may ibibigay ba sa akin na parang resibo na pwede kong itago bilang pruweba ng bakuna?

Duque: Tama po kayo, Madam Senator. Meron pong card na iaabot sa inyo at doon po ay nakalagay po kung kailangan kayo, 'yung first dose at saka kailan 'yung next dose, usually between 21 and 28 days.

Poe: Secretary, ganito din po, 'yan bang resibo na 'yan ay standardized sa buong Pilipinas at DOH ba ang may format or free-for-all ang mga LGUs?

Duque: Hindi po, prescribed form po ito, your honor.

Poe: Mr. Secretary, before you roll out this trial of 50,000 doses, can you give us a copy of the certificate that you will issue?

Duque: Yes, Ma'am.

Poe: Okay. Another question that I have is with regard to the non-disclosure agreement. I understand that there's a certain contract that will specify this. I would like to ask Secretary Galvez, 'yun bang NDA, sinong humingi 'nun? Tayo ba o ang mga kumpanya na magsu-supply ng bakuna?

Galvez: Ma'am, sa kumpanya po 'yan. Kapag po hindi tayo pumirma ng NDA mawawalan po tayo ng access. So ang NDA po na 'yan is required po ng kumpanya, ng vaccine maker.

Poe: So sila po ang nag-isyu?

Galvez: Yes po, sila po.

Poe: Bakit po kung meron nga tayong NDA, bakit doon sa Sinovac nasabi natin na P3,000 something ang presyo? Tapos biglang binabaan naman, nabanggit ng spokesperon ng Malacañang, ng P600? So kung meron tayong NDA talaga, bakit nabanggit ang mga 'yun?

Galvez: Actually po, Ma'am, para lang to correct 'yung impression ng public na P3,000 po 'yun, binigyan lang po natin ng indicative but 'yung actual price po, we cannot tell it to the public.

Poe: So sinasabi ninyo na hindi talaga ninyo sinasabi sa publiko ang tunay na presyo?

Galvez: Yes po, because we will be charged with the violation of the NDA. And once we are proven that we have specifically stated the exact price, the volumes or the contract can be terminated.

Poe: But, Mr. Secretary, I think I'll be more insistent on this. So basically you don't want to divulge the real price so you're lying to the public?

Galvez: Yes, Ma'am. Ang ano po talaga, Ma'am, doon these are the, ito ang tinatawag nating special price, is included in the NDA. Considering that the company, the vaccine company is also negotiating simultaneously with other companies because if the other countries will know the price and there are also, in some instances, poor countries like us, we are being given special prices. So, they don't want to compromise the prices along the negotiating table of the different negotiating companies and negotiating countries.

Poe: So, Mr. Secretary, you're saying that the reason why there's an NDA is so that the other companies will also not feel violated with their agreements kaya wala kayong binabanggit? Pero 'di ba, paulit-ulit na itong tinatanong, sa ibang bansa sinasabi naman nila kung magkano?

Galvez: Ma'am, hindi po. Lumalabas lang po sa newspaper but there is no confirmatory that it is the negotiated price. Normally ang lumalabas na price po sa newspaper are only the indicative price or the market prices, not the negotiated prices.

Poe: Okay, so you are saying that it's probably the market price. I just find it a little discomforting that you openly admitted that you are lying to the public. Although, I know that maybe you can justify it by saying it is for the greater good so that we don't lose our contracts.

Galvez: Ma'am, I'm not lying to the public considering that I am saying that in order to correct the impression of the public that we are doing an overpricing. We're just saying the indicative price of not more than P700.

Poe: Okay but with all due respect, I thought I asked you that you basically lied to the public and you said yes.

Galvez: No, Ma'am. I just said that the prices that have been published in the newspaper is incorrect considering that it is not the real negotiated price, that's the market price.

Poe: Okay, well then.

Galvez: Ma'am, there's a difference between the published market price in the internet and the negotiated price. The negotiated price is being kept in secret considering it might compromise the negotiations of other companies because we are negotiating with different companies simultaneously.

Poe: Okay. So, Mr. Secretary, eventually will you be open in showing those negotiated prices to at least the senators?

Galvez: Yes, Ma'am. For as long as the supply agreement and all the conditions have been signed, we will reveal it in due time, Ma'am.

Poe: Okay, thank you. My next question will be, with regard to the local governments because we were actually delighted to hear that many local governments are doing their own procurement of the vaccines. We've heard from Makati, we also heard from certain places like Taguig and even Iloilo. Many different LGUs are already doing their own procurement. Now, I also found out from one of the suppliers of the vaccine that yes they are making their own negotiations, but they actually have to go through the IATF and get IATF approval before they can get those vaccines, am I correct?

Galvez: Yes, Ma'am, they have to go through the IATF, to me, so that we can see the tripartite negotiations.

Poe: Mr. Secretary, can you give us an example of what LGU has approached you? And when is the soonest possible time that they will get the vaccine and be able to administer it to their constituents?

Galvez: Many mayors of the different, NCR and also mayors of Region 6 and also the governors of Region 6. And the different mayors of Visayas po, talagang they called me up in order for them to be allowed to procure. And with that I recommended to the President, on our meeting, that the LGUs be allowed to procure through the tripartite agreement.

Poe: So you already allowed them?

Galvez: Yes, with the approval of the President po.

Poe: Okay. So, Mr. Secretary, alam po ba ninyo kung ano 'yung siyudad na mauunang magkakaroon ng vaccine?

Galvez: Based po sa ano natin, sa prioritization which is not yet final, ang mauuna pong mava-vaccinate are those areas with the most affected, in terms of infections and also 'yung attack rate po. That's why I requested the IATF to finalize the prioritization geographically so that we will implement. So that with different considerations, like for example economic risk and social risk and also the affectation will be considered.

Poe: So basically wala pa kayong timeline? Kailan ba sa tingin ninyo mag-uumpisa ang local government na mag-rollout ng vaccine?

Galvez: 'Yung first rollout po natin this coming February, we will have a mini rollout from Covax and also from our vaccine companies. The delivery of the other companies is not yet final considering that we will have the supply agreement yet. And we have an indication that they will also have mini rollout this coming February. So most likely, there are more or less three to four branches that we will be rolling out this first quarter, considering that some companies have already accepted our appeal�that we are appealing to them that we don't have much vaccine for the first and second quarter. So we are requesting that they can give, even few thousands of vaccines during first quarter. It is not yet final considering the supply agreement has not yet been signed.

Poe: May I request from your office, Secretary, the timeline of the rollout at least at this point. Para kapag tinanong kami kung saan ba talaga, alam namin kung kailan at anong mga lugar.

Galvez: Yes, Ma'am. I will submit it to you, Ma'am.

Poe: And then lastly, just the point that I made earlier, Mr. President. I would just like to get an assurance that before they roll out second week, third week of February the first tranche of the vaccines. Secretary Galvez and Secretary Duque, please coordinate with regard to record keeping the database of who already were administered and also a certificate that they can issue at no cost to the recipient, indicating what dose and as Secretary Duque mentioned earlier, may mga barcode. Mag-uumpisa na ba 'yan, Secretary Duque, 'yung barcode na 'yan?

Duque: Yes, Ma'am. Mag-uumpisa na po tayo diyan and we will give you a copy of the form and the card that will be issued to the vaccinees in the master list.

Poe: That will be very effective, at least kapag naghanap sila ng trabaho at pinakita nila 'yun medyo advantage na 'yan sa kanila. Alam naman natin na 'yun ang kulang sa atin ngayon na kailangan talagang mas dumami ulit ang mga nagtatrabaho.

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