Pres. Duterte tells Galvez to proceed with vaccine acquisition amid Senate probe threat

Assures that vaccine prices negotiated by Galvez to still pass DOF, ADB scrutiny

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the nation in his “Talk to the People” address on Monday night, Jan. 18, 2021. (Eagle News Service)

 

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte directed national COVID-19 action plan chief administrator Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., to push through with the gpvernment’s plans on the acquisition of vaccines to avert any delays amid a threat by the Philippine Senate to investigate the government’s vaccine acquisition program.

In his talk to the nation, President Duterte said that Galvez, who is also the country’s vaccine czar, would proceed with the game plan on getting the needed vaccines for Filipinos at the soonest possible time. He told him not to mind the senate investigation.

“Kami ang executive department, hindi kayo ang masusunod,” he said.

“I’m telling now, General Galvez, Yung game plan niya susundin niya, with or without investigation. Proceed and implement what we plan to do, kasi pinagpaguran na,” he said on Monday night, Jan. 18.

“Never mind about the investigation, kasi mas lalo lang matagalan tayo. Nandyan na yung bakuna, magdating na.”

Duterte said that it’s either the public believes him when he says there is no corruption in the Philippine government’s efforts to get vaccines for the country, or they believe the government’s detractors who doubt the government’s plans to get the life-saving vaccines at the soonest possible time.

Walang magic dyan. Kayong mga doubting Thomases, kung gusto niyo kayo na lang. You can form a committee. Tingnan nyo, ang lalabas ganun rin,” the President said.

Sabi ko sa mga taong makinig, either maniwala kayo sa akin, or maniwala kayo sa kanila,” he said.

Duterte explained how prices are floated by manufacturers in negotiations, but that Galvez’s role in the negotiations is to get the lowest prices for the vaccines. He doesn’t give the final decision, he said.

Baka akala ng mga senador yun na yun,” he said referring to the vaccine prices that were initially given by manufacturers during the canvassing of prices.

Hindi yan babayaran hangga’t di dumaan kay (Finance Secretary Carlos) Dominguez or sa akin,” he said.

Si Gen. Galvez inutusan lang yan. Para lang yan implementor,” the President said, as he explained that the deal, including the negotiated price will still pass several reviews.

-Levels of scrutiny –

After the negotiations, Galvez submits the results of the negotations to the Inter-Agence Task Force, and then it has to pass the scrutity of the Department of Health, of Secretary Francisco Duque III, and then it has to pass the review of the Department of Finance (DOF) specifically of Secretary Dominguez. After that, the deal has to be approved by the President.

Duterte himself said that there are so many levels that the approval of the deal will have to pass scrutiny to protect the interest of the Filipino public.

After passing the President’s review, it will still pass the scrutiny of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which holds the funds. This is because the ADB would want to protect their funds that would be used by the Philippine government to secure the vaccine doses.

Duterte explained that it is the ADB which will directly pay the vaccine manufacturers.  The money will not even pass through the Philippine government, he said.

The negotiations are further bound by the confidentiality, or the so-called non-disclosure agreeement, and breaking this might imperil what had been agreed upon already, Galvez pointed out.

Duterte explained that the prices that had been finalized in the negotiations with the vaccine manufacturer are also governed by the so-called law of supply and demand, and that the sooner that a deal is sealed, then the sooner will the vaccines arrive.

During the meeting Monday night with the President, Galvez also explained who the price that had earlier been floated by vaccine manufacturers have been cut by half during negotiations.

Naibaba nang halos kalahati. Maganda po ang nakuhang presyo,” he said.

This is why, he said, there were able to secure 148 million vaccine doses, instead of just 70 million doses for this year.

President Duterte said that those pretending to know everything, should be ignored. He said that in the end, people will see how he had tried to protect the people from corruption.

“Yung mga pretenders, hayan nyo sila, mas marunong,” he said.

After  nito lahat you will see, kung paano namin kayo pinrotektahan.

(Eagle News Service)