Press Release
February 24, 2021

Kailan ba talaga dadating ang bakuna? Pangilinan

THE Executive Department must give the Filipino people a definite timeline on the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines after Congress passed the law that would expedite their purchase and provide a P500-million indemnity fund, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said Wednesday.

He said the timely rollout of the vaccine program is entirely up to the Executive and not dependent on the law.

"The passage or non-passage of the bill was a belated and — to my mind — unfounded reason given for the inability to purchase vaccines. With or without the law, the Executive Department must shape up and get its act straight," Pangilinan said.

"Sa basketball, hindi lang puro pasa-bola ang dapat alam gawin. Dapat marunong ding mag-shoot. Dropped the ball na nga sila noon. 'Yung vaccine bill na pinasa ng Senado kahapon, parang 'yung center ng kalaban, binuhat na sila sa ring para i-shoot," he added.

Pangilinan, who delivered a privilege speech seeking a definite vaccine rollout schedule last December 14, said the people, especially the health workers who face the dangers of Covid-19 every day, are demanding for a more specific date when the safe and effective doses of vaccine will land on their arms.

"Ngayon, pagkatapos isubo na lahat sa kanila ng Senado, kailangan ng mas definitive timeline. Mahaba na ang listahan ng utang sa international creditors, mahaba na ang pila ng gustong magpabakuna, wala pa ang bakuna," he said.

Pangilinan also called for transparency on the agreements that the government will enter into, saying that Filipinos should not be at the losing end of any deal even as they seek the precious doses of protection from the virus.

The Senate version of the Covid-19 Vaccination Act was adopted by the House of Representatives late Tuesday. Only the signature of the President is needed to make it into law.

The measure provides for a P500-million indemnity fund for individuals who will experience side effects from the vaccine. It also seeks to expedite the processes of vaccine procurement, which will include procurement of local government units.

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