Garin hits ‘palakasan’ in COVID-19 vaccine distribution; tells Galvez to ‘be honest’
MANILA, Philippines — Calling on vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to be “honest” with his work, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin hit the supposed “palakasan”—or preference given to particular areas or individuals—in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
In a press briefing, Garin, who previously served as secretary of health, said there should be a systematic and scientific way of distributing the vaccines.
“Bakit hindi natin ibigay ‘yung bakuna because that is for prevention? At bakit kailangang kung sino ang tatawag, kung sino yung kaibigan or kung sino ‘yung nagagalit, dun ka,” Garin said Wednesday.
(Why don’t we give the vaccines for prevention? And why is it that whoever calls, whoever is the friend, or whoever is mad, are given?)
“Walang problema kung pagbigyan ‘yun. But not at the expense of other areas that are wanting vaccines and other beneficiaries who need their second doses of the vaccines,” she added.
(There’s no problem with that but not at the expense of other areas that are wanting vaccines and other beneficiaries who need their second doses of the vaccines.)
Garin said Galvez should be “honest” with his work and not just simply point to the Department of Health (DOH) as the agency responsible for the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines.
“He can judge for himself whether he is effective as a vaccine czar or not. Sa pananaw ko ay kailangan maging honest siya kasi ang palaging sagot, ‘DOH ang naga-allocate’,” Garin said.
(In my view, he should be honest because he is always saying, ‘It’s the DOH that is allocating the vaccines.’)
“Pero alam naman ng lahat na hindi DOH ang naga-allocate dahil hindi makagalaw ang departamento dahil sila ni [testing czar Vince Dizon] ang tinuturong naga-allocate ng bakuna,” she added.
(But we know the DOH is not the one allocating because it cannot move since they are pointing to Galvez and testing czar Dizon as the ones allocating it.)
Asked if she believes there is “palakasan” in the vaccine distribution, Garin said: “Yes. At dapat mabago ito (it should be changed).”
“Kasi ang nangyayari tatawag ka or iikot papasyal sayo si Secretary Dizon pupunta sayo si General Galvez magkakaroon ka ng bakuna. Eh kung ‘di nila mapupuntahan ang lugar mo, goodbye ka na lang maghihintay ka muna,” Garin said.
(What is happening is you will call them and Secretary Dizon and General Galvez will visit you and you will have vaccines. If your area will not be visited, goodbye to you and just wait.)
According to Garin, “now is not the time to distribute based on wants” as she underscored the need for a distribution system that is based on science.
“Siyempre kapag di napuntahan ‘yung lugar mo, hindi ka mabibigyan ng bakuna, kung hindi mo sila matawagan, hindi ka mabibigyan ng bakuna. Nauubos ang oras sa tawagan, hindi nagiging systematic,” Garin said.
(If your area will not be visited, you won’t get vaccines. If you won’t be able to call them, you will not be given vaccines. It’s not being systematic.)
“Ano ang proportion ng iyong population doon sa mga bakunang dumadating at nakarating na at doon ‘yun gamitin… Why don’t we do it scientifically at come up with a formula?” she added.
(What is the proportion between the population and the vaccines arriving… Why don’t we do it scientifically and come up with a formula?)
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