Duterte’s statement clarified: Gov’t won’t pay for indemnity if private sector had ‘willful neglect, gross negligence’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was pointing out that the government cannot bear the cost of compensating those who suffered adverse events from COVID-19 vaccines procured by the private sector if they committed “willful neglect” or “gross negligence,” Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the clarification after Duterte said it was “illegal” for the government to pay for indemnity in case of adverse events caused by the COVID-19 vaccines bought by private companies.
The President said this despite recently signing the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act, which established a P500-million indemnity fund.
“Hindi po, alam niya yon,” Roque said in an online briefing when asked if the President had to be reminded of the said provision of the law.
(No, he knows that.)
“Ang sabi nga lang niya, hindi siya papayag na walang pananagutan ang pribadong sektor kung merong gross negligence at saka willful neglect,” he added.
(He was only saying that he won’t allow the private sector not to assume responsibility if they commit gross negligence and willful neglect.)
The law, which he signed just last month, states that manufacturers and even representatives of private entities “shall be immune from suit and liability under Philippines laws with respect to all claims arising out of, related to, or resulting from the administration or use of a COVID-19 vaccine under the COVID-19 Vaccination Program except arising from willful misconduct and gross negligence.”
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