Press Release
August 6, 2021

Bong Go welcomes release of funds to cover severe adverse reactions from COVID-19 jabs; assures public that the threats posed by COVID-19 outweighs the unlikely risks that may come from vaccines

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the release of the COVID-19 National Vaccine Indemnity Fund, a trust fund that will compensate anyone inoculated through the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in the event of death, permanent disability, or hospitalization due to any severe adverse effect following immunization.

"I applaud the President for approving the release of funds to PhilHealth for the COVID-19 National Vaccine Indemnity Fund, which will be used to compensate our kababayans who will have serious adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines," said Go.

"Patunay po ito sa commitment ng pamahalaan na pangalagaan ang mga Pilipino at siguruhing may masasandalan sila anumang hamon ang harapin nila sa gitna ng COVID-19 pandemic," he added.

Section 10 of Republic Act 11525, also known as the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, authorizes the provision of PhP500 million for PhilHealth for the Indemnity Fund. It will come from the FY 2021 Contingent Fund under RA 11518, or the General Appropriations Act of 2021.

The Indemnity Fund will be administered as a separate fund from the Social Health Insurance Fund under the National Health Insurance Program, with separate accounting, financial management and actuarial analysis.

The benefit cap for claims under the COVID-19 Vaccine Injury package is P100,000 per beneficiary. Hospitalization coverage shall be based on the actual hospital charges after the deduction of mandatory discounts as applicable and other PhilHealth benefits; permanent disability and/or death benefits shall be paid as a lump-sum amounting to P100,000 per beneficiary.

Claimable cases include hospitalization due to anaphylaxis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, blood clots, and others that may be determined by the PhilHealth; disability, such as loss of sight for both eyes, loss of two limbs at or above the ankle or wrists or permanent complete paralysis of two limbs, brain injury resulting in incurable imbecility or insanity, and such other cases as may be determined by the PhilHealth; and death.

Go co-authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill 2057, or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program bill, in February, which was ultimately approved into law by Duterte as RA 11525. The law created the vaccine indemnity fund and expedited the purchase of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Some vaccine producers required the establishment of indemnity and liability frameworks, which include establishing an indemnification fund backed by legislation. They may not be able to supply the vaccine unless indemnity legislation is passed.

"Kaya suportado ko ang panukala hinggil dito para maging mas handa tayo sa kung meron mang hindi kanais-nais na epekto sa tao ang paggamit ng COVID-19 (vaccine)," said Go during his co-sponsorship speech in February for the measure.

"Malaking parte ito ng ating National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap at kailangan ito upang tuloy-tuloy na ang pag-roll-out ng mga bakuna sa ating bansa," he added.

Go then encouraged Filipinos not to fear COVID-19 vaccines but the deadly virus itself, as they are covered in the event of severe adverse reactions. He added that the risk of severe adverse reaction is very unlikely as compared to the threats posed by COVID-19.

"Huwag po kayong matakot sa bakuna dahil safe po ang mga ito. Matakot kayo sa COVID-19. Bilang kasiguraduhan, covered naman po ito ng PhilHealth dahil sa indemnity fund," said Go.

"Ang bakuna po ang pag-asa natin dito. Magtiwala ho kayo sa bakuna. Ang bakuna po ang tanging susi para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa ating normal na pamumuhay," he concluded.

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