Drilon says lack of budget will make COVID-19 vaccine distribution a ‘nightmare’
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Saturday said the P2.5 billion allocated in next year’s budget will not be enough to cover the procurement and distribution of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.
“Talagang kulang ang P2.5 billion. Hindi madali ang vaccination dahil hindi naman tayo mag-manufacture nito. Talagang darating sa atin in bulk. Ilalagay mo sa glass vials. Ilang million ang gagawin natin?” the senator said in an interview with DWIZ when sought to comment on the lack of funds for vaccines.
(P2.5 billion is not enough. Vaccination is not easy because we are not the ones who will manufacture it. It will be sent to us in bulk, placed in glass vials. How many vials will we be making?)
Drilon also expressed concern as to how the vaccine will be distributed as the Philippines is an island nation.
“We are an island nation kaya ang logistic ay terrible. Mahirap ang trabaho. Malaking pera ang pinag-uusapan. Ang estimate ay P500.00 per head. The distribution would be a nightmare. Sana magampanan ng pamahalaan ang kanilang tungkulin lalo na ang DOH [Department of Health],”
(We are an island nation so logistics will be terrible. The job won’t be easy. We need huge money for this. The estimate is P500 per head. The distribution would be a nightmare. I hope the government and DOH will do their jobs.)
Zamboanga City 2nd Dist. Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe said the government will need P12.919 billion for the vaccination of 20 million Filipinos.
Even President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country still needs more money for the vaccination of all Filipinos against COVID-19.
So far, Sinovac Biotech, a China-based pharmaceutical company, passed the country’s initial screening process to participate in the vaccine trials.
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