Palace wonders what laws senators aim to pass after Covid-19 vaccine plan probe
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is wondering what measures will now be passed by senators after conducting congressional inquiries on the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program.
“Gusto ko rin pong marinig at ng taumbayan kung ano po iyong batas na lalabas sa resulta ng imbestigasyon na ito. Iyan po ang dahilan kung bakit ang tawag sa imbestigasyon na iyan ‘in aid of legislation’,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday in his regular Palace press briefing.
He added: “Ang ating tatanungin sa mga senador matapos ang napakahabang hearing na ito, anong batas po ang isasampa nila?
Lawmakers have questioned the cost and efficacy of the vaccines being eyed by the national government with both houses of Congress launching probes into the procurement of the coronavirus vaccines.
Among the topics tackled is the reluctance of concerned government officials to disclose the contract price of the jabs, particularly the deal with China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said they cannot reveal the contract price for now as the government is bound by the confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) it signed with vaccine manufacturers.
But if lawmakers don’t want the government to enter into a deal with CDA, Roque said: “Kung tutol po sila sa CDA, baka gumawa sila ng batas na pinagbabawal ang CDA. Kapag nangyari po iyon, wala nang magbebenta ng gamot dito sa atin sa Pilipinas.”
President Rodrigo Duterte also shielded his officials from criticisms, saying that keeping the contract price confidential is an “industry practice.” He also reminded Galvez to stick to his “gameplan.”
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