Senate panel seeks P500-M indemnity fund for COVID vaccine side effects | Inquirer News

Senate panel seeks P500-M indemnity fund for COVID vaccine side effects

/ 05:26 PM February 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A Senate panel on Tuesday endorsed for plenary approval a bill that would, among others, establish a P500-million national indemnity fund for COVID-19 vaccine side effects.

Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance panel, sponsored Senate Bill No. 2057 or the proposed COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.

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The measure was contained under Committee Report No. 185, which 20 senators signed.

Aside from expediting the purchase and administration of the vaccines in the country, the measure also seeks to establish a COVID-19 National Indemnity Fund to compensate any person who has been vaccinated and experiences serious adverse side effects or even death.

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READ: Bill expediting purchase, administration of COVID-19 jabs reaches Senate plenary

“This fund will be worth P500 million. And as suggested by [Senate] Minority Floor Leader [Franklin] Drilon, it will be sourced from the Contingent Fund and shall be administered by PhilHealth,” Angara said in his sponsorship speech.

Vaccine passports

Further, the bill also seeks the issuance of vaccine passports to inoculated individuals. The passport will serve as a record of all the COVID-19 vaccinations they’ve received.

“These passports will serve as documentary proof that a person has completed a full round of COVID-19 vaccinations, which could then allow them to go abroad to wherever they are permitted, engage in non-essential domestic travel, grant them quick passage through local checkpoints, and even give them access to business establishments,” Angara said.

In compliance with data privacy laws, these passports will only contain relevant information like the vaccinee’s basic personal information, the manufacturer of the vaccine used, and the inoculation date, among others.

Under the bill, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be mandated to develop the needed digital systems and vaccine passports applications.

“[G]iven that there remains a digital divide in the country, these passports will also be available as printed documents,” Angara noted.

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TAGS: COVID-19 Vaccine, indemnity fund, Nation, News, Senate, Senator Sonny Angara
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