Press Release
September 13, 2021

Grace Poe's opening statement transcript on vaccine passport finance subcom hearing (SB 2381)

Bakuna talaga ang susi sa better normal. Habang ang pangunahing layunin nito ay protektahan tayo mula sa COVID-19 virus, hindi maikakaila na instrumental ito para makabalik tayo sa ating mga buhay sa labas at mapasigla muli ang ekonomiya. A healthy citizenry and a safe environment will spur the economic revival that we sorely need.

Sa kasalukuyan, ang vaccine card sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act ay tila ba talaan lamang ng klase ng bakunang naibigay.

The purpose is purely for record-keeping. Beyond that, the cards have no use. We cannot use our vaccination cards to travel for work, leisure or to access goods and services, among other things, as the rules remain restrictive to all individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Noong nakaraang buwan lamang, nahirapan ang mga overseas Filipino workers magbalik-trabaho dahil hindi kinikilala ang ating mga vaccine card sa ibang bansa. Aside from the absence of legislation, its lack of power stems from the fact that the vaccine cards are unique to each LGU—paiba-iba, without standard appearance and formatting, and no security features.

Similar to the measure being tackled today, I filed Senate Bill No. 2321 which seeks to expand the objectives of the COVID-19 vaccine card. Hopefully, we can use the vaccine card to usher us in the better normal.

It is worth noting that nothing in the proposed measures mandates or requires people to get vaccinated but incentives exist for them to do so.

By expanding the objectives of the vaccine card, we hope to be able to put the right balance to public health and economy amid the pandemic.

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