Lacson: Senators to push for COVID-19 vaccine fund hike in 2021 budget
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said senators will push for an increase in the funding for the distribution of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines under the proposed 2021 national budget, adding that the government needs at least P10 billion for the vaccination drive.
The budget for the COVID-19 vaccination program, which is lodged under the proposed budget of the Department of Health (DOH), amounts to P2.5 billion.
But Lacson questioned this, saying the amount will only cover the vaccination of 3.9 million Filipinos.
“Assuming that we have the vaccine by April, maraming mangangailangan ng vaccine. If we vaccinate only 3.9 million, what happens to the 96 million others? Maghahawa-hawaan din yun and parang trickle in the bucket yung P2.5 billion,” the senator said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
(Assuming that we have the vaccine by April, a lot of people will need that. If we vaccinate only 3.9 million, what happens to the 96 million others? So there’s still the possibility of transmission and the P2.5-billion budget is just a trickle in the bucket.)
“So definitely hindi lang ako, other senators, would love to further increase the appropriations for vaccines,” he added.
(So definitely, other senators, not only me, would love to further increase the appropriations for vaccines.)
The House of Representatives was earlier able to source P5.5 billion more to augment the P2.5-billion budget for the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
“Ang tingin ko at least P10 billion ang kailangan ng DOH para sa vaccine,” Lacson went on.
(I think the DOH would need at least P10 billion for the vaccine.)
On Wednesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 362,243.
Of this number, 311,506 have already recovered while 6,747 have died.
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