Anadolu photo

MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has suspended the consolidation of orders for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine from small and medium enterprises, Secretary Ramon Lopez said Wednesday.
 
Lopez said there were around 10 companies that tapped DTI for the procurement of vaccines, mostly for their workers only, even as the DTI has yet to come up with the guidelines for the consolidation of vaccine orders.
 
He added the orders from the 10 SMEs are “minimal quantity” and these can be covered by the vaccine purchases of the government.
 
“But (the) latest from (the) vaccine committee is we suspend the consolidation since there will be more than enough government purchases and current tripartite agreements to cover vaccination of all front-liners including the economic front-liners and workers,” he told reporters in Viber message.
 
Big firms procured their vaccine orders through the government under a tripartite agreement with the national government and Covid-19 vaccine developer AstraZeneca.
 
Under the A Dose of Hope initiative led by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, the large enterprises were able to procure 19.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines --first was the 2.6 million doses orders in November 2020, followed by the 17 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine orders in January this year.
 
In a Palace briefing Thursday, Lopez said the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will help boost consumer and business confidence.
 
“Definitely, it will have a positive effect. It will definitely regain much of (the) loss in consumer confidence, and next to that is business confidence,” he said. (PNA)