DOF assures enough funds for procuring vaccine supply

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 15, 2021   •   282

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) on Tuesday (June 15) assured that the national government has enough budget to procure coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine doses.

During the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government’s P88.6 billion budget is enough to vaccinate 70 million adult Filipinos. This, he said, will cover 149 million vaccine doses.

Dominguez also said that the government will be able to obtain 200 million doses if the private sector will also procure around 25 million doses to be added to the 30 million doses that “are currently in the pipeline for negotiations”.

When asked about the price range for the procurement of vaccines, Dominguez replied it ranges from P323.75 – P1,323.30 per dose. He, however, did not disclose which brands, saying it would violate the non-disclosure agreements with vaccine manufacturers.

Senator Franklin Drilon stated the need for the Senate as well as the public to know the price range of the procured COVID-19 vaccines.

“To be clear, wala po akong sinasabing may nagnakaw. Maliwanag po iyan. Tinatanong ko lang kung magkano ba dahilan sa ito’y obligasyon natin bilang mga senador, obligasyon natin kung paano natin ginagastos ang kanilang pera,” he said.

(To be clear, I was not saying there is corruption. It is clear. What I am asking is how much were the doses since this is our obligation as Senators. It is our obligation to know how we spend public funds.)

“This is a public forum, we cannot disclose publicly. Now if COA [Commission on Audit] wants to audit us, it is open for audit. I personally designed the financing of this involving ADB [Asian Development Bank], AIIB [Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank], and involving World Bank as a double-check. Because they will not pay for that if they see that we are overpaying,” Dominguez said.

The government is also reviewing to have an additional P20 billion to procure doses for the vaccination of children ages 12 to 15 years old. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it already released over P660 billion funds for the government COVID-19 response.

Meanwhile, the first batch of vaccine supply for the private sector will arrive on June 17.

Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. also said that private companies will give excess doses to the local government.

“Most of the private sector indicated to me that they will donate it to the LGU. considering that when we procured the vaccine the intention of the private sector is really to help the government in producing the dosage,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

32% ng senior citizens sa bansa, fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Nasa 32 porsiyento na ng mga senior citizen sa bansa ang nabakunahan laban sa COVID-19, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Mula Agosto 1, mahigit na sa 2.6 milyong senior citizen ang fully vaccinated habang nasa 2.8 milyon ang nakatanggap ng first dose.

Sa Metro Manila, halos 63 percent na ng mga senior citizen na nakalista sa master list ang mga fully vaccinated habang 68 percent naman ay nabakunahan ng first dose.

Ngunit ayon kay Dr. Beverly Ho, ang direktor ng DOH Health Promotion Bureau, malaking bilang pa rin ng mga nasa A2 priority group ang kailangang mabakunahan sa gitna na rin ng banta ng Delta COVID-19 variant sa Pilipinas.

Kaya panawagan ni Ho sa publiko, lalo na sa bawat pamilyang may miyembro na senior citizen, na kumbinsihin ang mga matatanda na magpaturok na laban sa coronavirus disease upang mabigyan sila ng proteksyon mula sa nakakahawang sakit.

“Mahalaga rin po na alam natin na ngayon lumalabas po sa ating mga datos na ang mga senior citizens nakikinig po talaga sila sa mga taong malapit sa kanila , it could be family, friends na nabanukahan na mga fellow senior citizens at mga physicians o healthcare providers na malapit rin sa kanila,” ang wika ni Ho.

Tiniyak naman ng opisyal na may ginagawa nang paraan ang mga lokal na pamahalaan upang mahikayat ang mas marami pang senior citizen na magpabakuna.

Halimbawa nito ay ang pagsasagawa ng house-to-house na pagbabakuna lalo na sa mga lolo at lola na may mga karamdaman.

Katuwang ng DOH sa pagpapaigting ng vaccination program ang National Commission for Senior Citizens.

Ayon kay Atty. Franklin Quijano, ang pinuno ng komisyon, marami sa kanilang hanay ang gusto nang magpaturok pero ang problema, maraming lugar sa bansa ang limitado ang supply ng bakuna.

“We understand kasi na ang inuuna ngayon Metro Manila at ang mga lugar na may medyo mataas ang rates ng COVID, so in which case maraming nagrereklamo po sa mga areas na medyo hindi pa nabibigyan ng bakuna dahil nga po hindi pa dumarating ang mga bakuna,” ani Quijano.

“We would like to assure you marami po talagang senior citizens ang gustong magpabakuna ang problema nga lang hindi pa dumarating ang suplay dahil meron tayong priority areas,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, sang-ayon ang DOH sa pahayag ng World Health Organization (WHO) na bilisan pa ang pagpapabakuna sa mga senior citizen lalo’t mayorya ng mga Pilipinong namamatay sa COVID-19 ay pawang mga may edad na.

“Alam po natin na talaga po all those people more than 60 years old, they actually account for more than 60 percent ng mga namamatay sa COVID-19 dito sa ating bansa,” ang pahayag ni Ho.

“Yung percentage po na namamatay na senior citizens tumataas habang tumaas po yung kanilang edad,” dagdag pa niya.

Una nang inirekomenda ng WHO na gawing prayoridad sa pagbabakuna ang mga senior citizen at may comorbidites upang mapigilan ang pagka-puno ng mga ospital ng mga pasyenteng may malalang kaso ng COVID-19. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marvin Calas)

Aklan calls for more COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies amid surge in cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 4, 2021

Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores is calling on the Department of Health (DOH) to provide additional COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies and equipment as the province battles surging cases.

Humihingi kami ng tulong sa IATF na, kung pwede, bigyan pa kami ng additional equipment and medicine supplies for our COVID-19 response,” he said.

During a virtual public briefing on Wednesday (August 4), Miraflores said that Aklan has logged 184 deaths from March last year to the present.

From May to July, the average daily attack rate in the province recorded an increase and is now at 22%. The official also reported that more than 80% of COVID-19 beds are already occupied.

Miraflores added that they have appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to put the province under stricter quarantine classification, from general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

 

9 na rehiyon sa bansa, may local cases ng Delta COVID-19 variant — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Umaabot na sa siyam na rehiyon sa bansa ang nakapagtala ng local cases ng Delta COVID-19 variant, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Batay sa monitoring ng ahensiya, naitala ang mga ito sa Ilocos region, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao at Davao.

Ayon kay Dr. Alethea de Guzman, Director 3 ng DOH Epidemiology Bureau, nasa 165 ang naitalang local cases mula sa 216 kabuuang kaso ng Delta variant sa bansa.

Sa mga carrier nito, 190 na ang gumaling habang siyam naman ang nasawi.

“Nakakatakot po but with correct messaging we can alleviate the panic that people and all sectors are experiencing because of this,” ani De Guzman.

Bagama’t dumarami ang kaso ng Delta variant sa Pilipinas, sinabi ng DOH na pinakamataas pa rin ang naitatalang kaso ng Beta variant na unang natuklasan sa South Africa.

Ngunit naniniwala ang mga eksperto na posibleng may undetected cases ng Delta variant dahil na rin sa limitadong kapasidad ng bansa sa genome sequencing.

Ayon kay De Guzman, sa ngayon ay nasa moderate risk classification ang Pilipinas dahil umabot na sa 50 porsiyento ng health system capacity ang okupado. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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