Sotto says Galvez assured him there was no overpricing in PH vaccine deals
MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who oversees the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, assured senators that there would be “no room for overpricing” in the government’s vaccine deals with pharmaceutical firms, Senate President Vicente Sotto III told reporters Wednesday following a meeting with Galvez.
“Secretary Galvez assures us through the agreements that there will be no room for overpricing by any person, entity or group as all payments will go directly to the pharma companies from the lending institution who will also set in place proper safeguards,” Sotto said.
Aside from Sotto and Galvez, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, as well as contact tracing czar Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong, were also present during the meeting.
Lacson had earlier flagged a possible “attempt to overprice” the government’s procurement of the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.
“We were able to see all the necessary documents and proposed agreements. Indeed there are nondisclosure agreements mandated by the pharma companies internationally,” the Senate president further told reporters.
He said he would inform other senators “on the important facts” as soon as possible.
Last week, the Senate conducted two hearings on the nationwide inoculation plan. The chamber is set to hold another one this Friday, Jan. 22.
Even after Galvez disclosed details of the government’s vaccine deals, Sotto said the Friday’s hearing would push through.
“Hopefully we will be able to elicit enough information to be able to convince our countrymen that the vaccines no matter what brand will be necessary, for us to defeat the virus,” the senator said.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.