All private companies, including tobacco firms, may procure vaccines via tripartite deals — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — All private companies, including cigarette firms, are allowed to purchase COVID-19 vaccines provided that they enter into tripartite agreements with the national government, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the clarification after lawmakers expressed alarm over a supposed draft administrative order barring several firms “in conflict with public health” from procuring COVID-19 vaccines.
The supposed draft administrative order stated that the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and the Department of Health will be tasked to “review the requests of private entities to procure vaccines to ensure that private entities who will be part of the agreement are not in any way related to the tobacco industry, products covered under [Executive Order] 51 series of 1986 or the ‘National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, breastmilk Supplement and Other Related Products’ or other industries in conflict with public health.”
“Pwede nang bumili ng bakuna ang lahat ng pribadong kumpanya, kasama ang cigarette companies, ayon sa amended IRR [implementing rules and regulations] ng Republic Act No. 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination law,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(Private firms, including cigarette companies, can buy COVID-19 vaccines according to the amended IRR of RA No. 11525 or the COVID-19 vaccination law.)
He explained that private companies must enter into tripartite agreements with the drugmakers and the national government as no COVID-19 vaccine is commercially available as of the moment.
“Subject pa rin sa tripartite agreement kasama pribadong sektor. Hindi pupuwedeng mawala ang tripartite agreement kasi bagamat pwede na bumili ang lahat ng kumpanya ng bakuna para sa kanilang mga empleyado, wala pa tayong commercially available na bakuna,” Roque said.
(This is still subject to tripartite agreement including private sector. The tripartite agreements cannot be discounted since there is no commercially available vaccine right now.)
“Lahat ng mga bakuna sa ngayon ay sakop lamang ng emergency use authorization kaya kinakailangan pa rin na pumasok ang gobyerno sa pagbili ng mga bakunang ito sa pamamagitan ng tripartite agreements,” he added.
(All of the vaccines are only under EUA so the government still needs to enter into tripartite agreements.)
In answer to the reports, the DOH said the supposed administrative order that has been circulating is not yet final and the department and NTF are “still in the process of reconciling proposed provisions with other existing laws and guidelines.”
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