Galvez lauds private sector support in nat’l vax program

By Lade Jean Kabagani

March 27, 2021, 7:00 pm

<p>National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.<em> (PNA file photo)</em></p>

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The recently passed Republic Act (RA) 11525, or the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, would strengthen the public-private partnership and push for an orderly immunization program, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Saturday.

Galvez, also the country's vaccine czar, said RA 11525 is a timely measure to secure steady supplies of vaccines.

“We have been pushing for the passage of this legislative measure that will not only address issues regarding the indemnity clause but also provides protection and support to the private sector and local government units (LGUs) that have volunteered to help in carrying out our national immunization program,” he said in a news release.

Earlier, the NTF and the Department of Health (DOH) jointly clarified that all private companies and LGUs are allowed to procure coronavirus vaccines provided that they would enter into a tripartite agreement with the national government and pharmaceutical companies.

The tripartite agreement is part of NTF's strategies to acquire equitable access to vaccines.

Galvez said the government does not force private companies to give half of their procured jabs to the government and thanked the donors who did so.

“We are very grateful to the private sector, especially to the group led by Mr. Joey Concepcion, Ms. Tessie Sy-Coson, Fernando and Jaime Ayala, Mr. Enrique Razon, Mr. Lance Gokongwei, Mr. Ramon S. Ang, and other business conglomerates for volunteering to give 50 percent of their vaccine supply purchased from AstraZeneca to the national government,” he said.

Galvez said even if the donation was not imposed nor required, private firms “generously offered to give a percentage of the vaccines they procured to the government, while also ensuring an adequate supply for their employees.”

Some 39 LGUs also entered pacts with drug-maker AstraZeneca.

“With the Implementing Rules and Regulations in place, we have now set a clear pathway for LGUs and the private sector to actively take part in the nation’s vaccine procurement," he said.

"Likewise, we are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration with other sectors as we continue our fight against this pandemic."

Public-private collaboration

Galvez praised the vital role of the private sector in the acquisition of safe and effective anti-Covid vaccines intended to inoculate at least 70 million Filipinos this year.

He also thanked British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca for agreeing to the tripartite agreements.

Concepcion, also the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, earlier said the private sector recognizes the importance of vaccinating more people as much as possible to revive the economy.

He said private companies vowed to support the government's pandemic responses.

"The private sector would like to extend and further assist in the end-to-end flow of the donation," he said. (PNA)