Press Release
November 17, 2022

Highlights of the sponsorship of the DOH budget
Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Senior Vice Chairperson, Finance Committee

Note: responding to the questions of Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel


Ang under the 2023 NEP, GAB, and Senate version, 948.37M ang budget ng FDA.

FDA is an organizational unit under the Office of the Secretary.

There is independence in terms of daily operations, but in terms of strategic direction, the Office of the Secretary (OS) and complement would be there for support.

In the exercise of their quasi judicial function, if there is a decision of the FDA and it is appealed, it goes to the Office of the Secretary.

For policy decisions, it goes to the OS also for the Secretary's input and approval.

If somebody complains to the OS, they will entertain, of course they will give that specific complaint to the [Director General] to address it, but they will also look into it and work with them because the Secretary and her team are very much aware of the general issues that have hounded FDA in the past years. In fact, most of us here in the Senate know those issues as well.


There is no request for funding for vaccines in this budget because we have proceeds from loans that can be availed of... P3.4 billion for the bivalent vaccine... COVAX, ADB, and World Bank.


The Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are with the Department of Finance. Hindi kasama ang DOH.


In Bayanihan 2 and the same provision was carried over in RA 11525, there was authority given to enter into tripartite agreements - NTF, manufacturers, and DOH. And if you will recall, Sec. Charlie Galvez was designated vaccine czar and later DOF was also designated as negotiator.


[The NDA] is a requirement of the manufacturer. And I also recall because I was asking the same question when this was being discussed two years ago. This was also the response I got from Sec. Charlie Galvez.


The suppliers would require first that you sign an NDA to start negotiating with them. At least this was the explanation given to me and it's consistent with what [the DOH Secretary] is telling me. Requirement ng supplier is you sign that NDA because meron silang different price structures depending on the country, that's my understanding. And I was told by one of our lead negotiators about some difficulties in negotiations precisely because they were really asking for lower prices and the suppliers would be demanding certain conditions.

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