20 0 0 1 month ago 4 min to read

Dizon: Donations of Covid-19 vaccines come with no conditions.

Vince Dizon, a former deputy chief implementer for the National Task Force Against COVID, reiterated on Tuesday that there were “no strings attached” when other nations donated Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines on a bilateral basis.

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Dizon gave the guarantee at the reopening of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the purported loss of PHP44.42 million in Covid-19 vaccine and the non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) signed by the national government on contracts for vaccine procurement.

Dizon responded to committee chair Senator Francis Tolentino, saying, “As for my personal knowledge, there were no strings attached and correlation in that donations sir.” She cited how, at the height of the pandemic, the Philippine government was scrambling to obtain Covid-19 vaccines from developed nations.

Dizon further indicated that he was not involved in the acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Tolentino suggested that the lack of vaccine use could be attributed to a number of factors, including the vaccines were close to expiring when purchased; there were systems in place that would prevent their proper distribution; the intended recipients (Filipinos) lacked the necessary information; and there may have been excusable neglect on the part of those handling the vaccines.

He stated that the hearing’s goal was “to enable the public to know how their money was spent and how the processes in place than had been fine-tuned and better executed,” not to assign blame to any government agency or commercial organization.

The legislator expressed his hope that it would also serve as a guide for the Department of Health (DOH) and any other agencies to act more appropriately in future instances.

As of December 2, 2022, the DOH stated that 10.1 million, or 13.9%, of the Covid-19 vaccinations that were squandered, were COVAX Facility donations.

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