Palace defends naming Galvez as vaccine czar: Job needs logistics, managerial skills | Inquirer News

Palace defends naming Galvez as vaccine czar: Job needs logistics, managerial skills

/ 02:28 PM November 03, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s choice of a former military chief over a medical expert as the country’s COVID-19 vaccine czar, saying the job is “more of a logistics challenge than a medical challenge.”

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who was earlier named vaccine czar, will lead the distribution process of the vaccines ones it becomes available while health experts, particularly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will focus on ensuring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.


“The vaccine operation will entail logistics. Kinakailangan po talaga may managerial skills at sanay sa ganitong management processes,” Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.


(We need someone with managerial skills and used to these kinds of management processes.)

He explained that the vaccines would have to be imported from the country of origin using cold chain storage facilities before it can be distributed to different areas in the country.

“So it’s more of a logistics challenge than a medical challenge. Ang medical issue lang po na involved dito ay kung safe po iyong vaccine, at iyan naman po ay tututukan ng FDA,” Roque said.

(The only medical issue involved here is whether the vaccine is safe, and that is what the FDA will focus on.)

“Bagamat may registration ng bakuna na makukuha sa kanilang home countries, kinakailangan pag-aralan pa rin po dito sa Pilipinas ng ating FDA,” he added.

(Although the vaccines are already registered in their home countries, our FDA still needs to study them here in the Philippines.)


During a televised meeting with key government officials on Monday, Duterte announced Galvez’s additional designation as vaccine czar.

Galvez, who is also Duterte’s peace adviser, has been at the forefront of the government’s COVID-19 response since he was named NTF chief.

Duterte has been criticized for his proclivity in appointing retired generals to key civilian government posts. He said he preferred military men because they are disciplined and obedient.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Malacañang, NcoV, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, vaccine czar

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