The House of Representatives is scheduled to begin its own hearings on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan on Monday next week, January 18.
The health committee, chaired by Quezon 4th District Rep. Helen Tan, will lead the hearing with Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. among the invited guests.
“There have been a lot of differing opinions, mostly from non-medical experts, regarding government-procured vaccines,” Tan, who is a medical doctor, said in a statement on Thursday.
“As such, we would like to hear from the experts themselves to determine facts and figures from a scientific point of view.”
Other agencies were invited to attend the meeting as well, including the Food and Drug Administration, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, World Health Organization, and the Budget, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defense Departments.
Advocacy and civic organizations such as physicians and nurses groups were also urged to join the discussion.
The Senate has conducted its first hearing on the issue, with senators questioning the national government’s “monopolization” of COVID-19 vaccine purchases as local government units and private firms are required to enter into a tripartite deal with them to obtain doses.