Recto wants PH to demand refund for ‘faulty’ Dengvaxia
The Philippine government has the power to demand a P3.5 billion refund from Sanofi Pasteur for its “ineffective dengue vaccines,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said on Tuesday.
In a statement, Recto said that as per Republic Act 9184, or the Procurement Law, the government is compelled to demand a refund from the controversial pharmaceutical firm for the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
“Kaya ito ang reseta natin sa Sanofi: Isauli ninyo ang bayad,” Recto said.
(This is our prescription to Sanofi: Give us a refund.)
Recto stressed that Sanofi, manufacturer of Dengvaxia, is “duty-bound” to reimburse the government because all government purchases are mandatorily covered by warranty.
“Government has no choice but to follow the Procurement Law, which compels it to demand refund for the P3.5 billion in taxpayer’s money paid to the French manufacturer of ineffective dengue vaccines,” Recto said.
“RA 9184 has an anti-lemon provision. It is discussed extensively in Section 62, which deals with faulty, defective substandard goods and services. The bottomline is that the government is entitled to restitution,” Recto said.
Recto noted that RA 9184 requires the supplier to post “retention money,” which the government will hold on to until the vaccines’ warranty has lapsed. This is to ensure that the goods supplied are free from defects, he explained.
The senator likened the practice to public works involving defects on roads, saying that they shall be repaired or replaced “at the cost of the contractor” within a given period from date of delivery.
Recto said if Sanofi defies the demand for refund, the firm’s properties shall be subject to attachment or garnishment proceedings to recover the costs, citing Section 65 of the Procurement Law.
The “no return, no exchange policy” does not apply to government purchases, Recto said. “Bumili ka nga ng plantsang sira, pwede mo isauli, ito pa kaya (When you buy a broken iron, you can return it; how much more this).” /je
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