Angara: No bicam ‘possible’ to hurry passage of vaccination indemnification bill
MANILA, Philippines — It is possible that no bicameral conference committee—composed of senators and House members—will be called to discuss the bill seeking to fast-track the purchase and rollout of Covid-19 vaccines after President Rodrigo Duterte certified it as urgent, Senator Sonny Angara said Saturday.
“Posible rin na wala nang bicam… yung pag-adopt na lang ng bersyon ng isang kamara,” Angara, who is sponsoring Senate Bill No. 2057 or the proposed Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act, said in an interview over radio station DWIZ.
(It is possible that there would be no bicam, maybe just adopt one version of the chamber.)
Senate Bill No. 2057, which also seeks to protect local executives making advance payments for their vaccine purchases from lawsuits, is expected to be passed on second and third reading by Monday.
It was on Wednesday when the Senate started deliberating on the bill in plenary. A day later, Duterte certified its passage as urgent.
Angara, meanwhile, raised another possibility: “Isang posibilidad din dyan is gawing retroactive [yung batas] (Another possibility is this may be retroactive).”
“So kahit mapasa siya after Feb. 24, retroactive siya. Ibig sabihin kahit yung mga kontrata ay nangyari before naisabatas itong Senate Bill No. 2057, eh sakop pa rin niya yung mga kontratang na pinirmahan before ipasa itong batas,” he added.
(So even if this is passed after Feb. 24, it’s retroactive. This means that those contracts signed before this Senate Bill No. 2057 was passed, they are still covered.)
The Feb. 24 date the senator was referring to was the deadline of local government units and private sectors to make an advance payment of 20 percent for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines it ordered.
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