LGUs, private firms buy 27M vaccine doses via tripartite deals — Galvez
MANILA, Philippines — The private sector and local government units (LGUs) have bought 27 million vaccine doses, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. told senators on Thursday.
“I’ve been [called] by the different LGUs and really, really want to help us in buying the vaccine. As of now, more or less 27 million vaccine has been bought both by the private sector and the LGUs and these vaccine are very useful and it can really bring some hope to our people,” Galvez told a Senate committee hearing into a bill seeking to expedite the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines by allowing LGUs to directly purchase jabs.
At present, LGUs may buy Covid-19 vaccines but only through tripartite agreements with the drug manufacturers and the national government.
Under the bill, LGUs will be exempted from certain procurement requirements under the Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and other related law during the period of the state of calamity due to the pandemic.
Galvez expressed support for the bill saying this would “greatly affect” the government’s expeditious acquisition of vaccines.
He also told senators that he and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III are currently drafting a memorandum for the President’s urgent certification on the passage of the bill.
“[This is] very significant for all of us considering that it will greatly help the executive to really function together with LGUs as soon as possible,” the vaccine czar said.
“As we all know, the restrictions of the law: the R.A. 9184, saddled us in our procurement and with this passage of this bill, it will greatly help us really expedite everything,” he added.
At least 600,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine of China-based Sinovac Biotech are set to arrive in the country on Feb. 23.
The Philippines is also expected to receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility in mid-February while over 5.5 million to 9.2 million doses AstraZeneca are expected by mid to late February.
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