Philippine Red Cross clarifies it is not into selling vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2021   •   423

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) issued a clarification regarding reports by news outlets saying the humanitarian organization would be selling  COVID-19 vaccines developed by American pharmaceutical firm Moderna to the public.

The news reports quoted PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon to have said that those who cannot wait for the free jabs from the government may pay the organization P3,500 for two doses of Moderna vaccine.

“To set the record straight, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon never announced that the Red Cross is selling vaccines. He stressed the need to act fast and vaccinate as many people as we can,” explained PRC governor Ma.Carissa Coscolluela.

Coscolluela noted what Gordon meant was, the PRC has procured Moderna COVID 19 vaccines and intends to vaccinate Red Cross members and donors, who are also PRC members and are willing to bear the cost of the vaccines.

The overall cost, Coscolluela said, would be US$26.83 (P1,284) per dose plus an administration fee that covers cost for syringes, gloves, PPEs, meals and allowances of PRC doctors and nurses, and other essential expenses related to the vaccination.

“The PRC is a humanitarian organization and is not in the business of selling any vaccines. It does not charge for anything that it got free,” Coscolluela stressed.

Duterte orders SolGen to ask COA to audit PH Red Cross

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida to write to Commission on Audit (COA) chair Michael Aguinaldo requesting an audit of the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) financial records.

“I am ordering SolGen, si Calida, to write [COA chief] Aguinaldo a letter. Ask Aguinaldo to immediately conduct an audit diyan sa Red Cross. Ang hinihintay ko lang, the next step would really be the letter to be delivered by COA,” the President said during his pre-taped public address aired on Thursday (September 16).

The PRC is led by Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee that is investigating the government’s use of pandemic funds.

The Chief Executive once again slammed  Gordon for the latter’s Senate probe into the government’s purchase of alleged overpriced medical goods last year.

Duterte had previously accused Gordon of using the PRC as his ‘milking cow’ in his previous election campaigns which led to a call for an audit of the humanitarian organization.

NVOC assures no COVID-19 vaccines destroyed due to recent storms

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Vaccinations Operations Center (NVOC) on Monday assured that no COVID-19 vaccines were affected in the onslaught of two storms, Jolina and Kiko, that barrelled through the country last week.

In a televised briefing, NVOC representative Dr. Kezia Rosario said the COVID-19 vaccine shots were transported temporarily to provincial health offices for safekeeping in areas affected by the storms.

Rosario also said that even cold chain storage facilities housing the vaccines were safe.

 “Lahat ng bakuna natin during the time of the bagyo were safe po at na-store po siya properly at hindi po tayo nagkaroon ng excursion sa temperature nito. So they are still effective and puwede pa po siyang ibigay sa mga vaccinees natin,” she said.

During the onslaught of Jolina, at least 19 municipalities in the Bicol region suspended vaccination operations while 49 areas in the Eastern Visayas region stopped the inoculation process.

At least three towns in Cagayan Valley also halted their vaccine rollouts due to Typhoon Kiko.

Rosario, however, said that the vaccination operations in the said areas have since resumed when the skies cleared.

The NVOC has yet to get an update on the vaccination rollout in Batanes that was battered by Kiko over the weekend.

“We do not have any updates pa po kung ilan iyong municipalities ng Batanes. But as of now, we know that all of the vaccines were transported doon sa provincial health offices for storage for the time being. And iyong sa Itbayat na vaccines, it was also transported sa district hospital nila for the time being,” she said.

The NVOC official assured that they have prepared response plans during calamities to ensure the safety of the vaccine supply.

“We also have rolled out ‘no and enforced iyong pag-establish ng mga vaccine security teams not only in the National Vaccine Operations Center kung hindi po sa Regional Vaccine Operations Center natin at saka sa Local Vaccine Operations Center,” she said.

“Sila po ay mag-i-ensure that bago pa man dumating ang bagyo nakahanda na po lahat ng preparations para maprotektahan natin iyong cold chain at saka ma-maintain natin iyong temperature ng mga vaccines natin. Kung kailangan sila i-transport immediately, gagawin po iyon,” she added.

Generators are also on standby in case of power interruptions that may affect cold storage facilities.

“And also, na-orient na po iyong mga vaccination teams natin that once the bagyo ay matapos na po ay ma-ensure nila that they can resume the vaccination activities immediately at saka mabigay nila iyong mga bakuna immediately,” Rosario said.

PRC cancels September 2021 qualifying assessment for foreign medical professionals

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced on Thursday (September 9) the cancellation of the 2021 Qualifying Assessment for Foreign Medical Professionals (QAFMP) in the National Capital Region (NCR) which was initially set for September 13 and 20, 2021.

In its advisory, the agency calls on affected examinees in the NCR to take the next succeeding examination without forfeiture of their examination fees.

“The PRC requests the public’s utmost understanding and cooperation as it complies with the guidelines set forth by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID),” the advisory reads.

All concerned may email their queries to the PRC’s Licensure Division at licensure.division@prc.gov.ph and licensure.office@prc.gov.ph.

Meanwhile, candidates for the QAFMP may check the PRC website at www.prc.gov.ph and follow PRC official social media accounts.

 

 

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