ASSISTANT Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro dared the Duterte administration to fully disclose how the Sinovac vaccine was chosen over other vaccines for COVID-19.
The solon asked what were the deals between other companies, who negotiated with them, who backed the pharmaceutical companies and what are the full terms and conditions of the deals including possible loans attached to these deals.
“Following reports of the latest updates on the Philippines’ procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, we dare the Duterte administration to fully disclose how the Sinovac vaccine was chosen over other available COVID-19 vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies,” Castro said. “Mahalagang alam ng taumbayan kung paano ginagastos ng gobyerno ang kanilang mga buwis at kung kalidad na mga bakuna ang ipapaturok ng gobyerno natin sa kaniyang mamamayan.”
“The people must know how the Duterte administration came to the conclusion that the Sinovac vaccine would be the best for the Filipino people despite it being more expensive and have yet to finish trials,” Castro added. “Mamamayang Pilipino ba talaga ang pinaka makikinabang dito o baka naman lalo lang tayong mapahamak dahil sa presyo at kakulangan sa final testing ng vaccine na ito? Kailangan maglabas ang administrasyong Duterte ng full disclosure sa paano nila napili ang Sinovac, baka naman mayroon nanamang may ‘kickvacc’ dito?”
“Other COVID-19 vaccines already have a higher efficacy rate with Pfizer and Moderna both claiming to have 95% efficacy rate, while the Sinovac vaccine has yet to finish their trials,” Castro stated. “It is very alarming to hear reports that there are people in charge who missed the opportunity to secure vaccines from companies for the Filipino people and that we are relying on a vaccine that is more expensive and have yet to finish trials and approvals. In times when we need the government to use all its resources, the Duterte administration continues to fail to secure and protect the health of the Filipino people.”
“President Duterte seeing ‘no lapse’ on the part of Health Secretary Duque when he failed to secure Pfizer vaccines shows the lack of determination to secure enough vaccines for the people and their obvious bias to a vaccine from China. Kung seryoso at determinado sila na mabakunahan ang mga Pilipino para masolusyonan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa bansa, hindi dapat papalagpasin ang mga pagkakataong makakuha tayo ng mga bakuna mula sa iba’t ibang kumpanya,” Castro stated.
“Hindi ba mas paborable sa mga Pilipino na magkaroon ng mas maraming pagpipilian na vaccine ng COVID-19 ang mamamayan kung sakaling may hindi magandang epekto sa katawan ang isa? Bakit kumikiling agad tayo sa iisa na mas mahal at hindi pa natin sigurado kung gaano ito ka-epektibo?”
“The Duterte administration should also realize that it should invest more on our own research and development for vaccines and treatment. Invest more on our own scientists so that we would also be more capable in finding cures, or better yet, preventing diseases to spread in the country,” Castro ended. (Vina de Guzman, bistadodailyneews.net)