Lawmaker questions why vaccine czar won’t disclose details of Sinovac deal

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Image source: ABS-CBN News

Some senators are adamant on finding out details of the Philippine government’s deal with China’s Sinovac vaccine when the Senate resumes its inquiry on Friday.

In an interview, Senator Risa Hontiveros raised her concern on why authorities refuse to disclose the exact cost of the Sinovac vaccine.

“It shouldn’t be this major production. Simpleng tanong, simpleng sagot,” Hontiveros said.

“We buy an ordinary product from day-to-day, or we pay for a service in our homes. We ask and we are answered— MagkanoKasi bahagi ‘yun ng desisyon natin as consumers.”

Wag tayong magtatago sa likod ng confidentiality disclosure agreement. Let’s have the transparency that will enable accountability,” she added.

Galvez had earlier met with Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto to share vaccine procurement details and hopefully clear issues for transparency. The meeting was also attended by Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, according to Sotto.

Sotto confirmed there were nondisclosure agreements mandated by the pharmaceutical companies, and said he will be immediately informing his colleagues regarding the essential facts of these documents. He said that Galvez assured there will be no room for overpricing in the product procurements.

The Sinovac vaccine deal has been facing controversies after officials refused to reveal its exact cost, citing a nondisclosure agreement with the drug maker. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later said that each dose of the product is priced near ₱650 and won’t exceed ₱700.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.