PRRD to certify as urgent bill allowing LGUs to directly purchase COVID-19 vaccines

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte checks the phone of one of the members of the cabinet during the 42nd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on October 11, 2019. Malacañang Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte will certify as urgent the passage of a bill relaxing procurement rules on local governments in the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the president has decided to let the legislative branch know of this priority.

“PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) will inform Congress that it is an urgent admin bill,” Roque said.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said in a Senate hearing on Thursday that the presidential certification is in the works.

“We are now drafting [the certification] for the President to make this bill an urgent bill so that it would be passed immediately,” he said.

Senate Bill 2042 would allow local governments to “directly” purchase COVID-19 vaccines. A similar measure has been filed at the House of Representatives.

SB 2042 also exempts local governments from complying with the Government Procurement Reform Act, the Local Government Code, and other related laws to hasten the purchase and administration of anti-coronavirus shots.

But as a safeguard, only COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use can be bought.

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