VACCINATION BILL APRUBADO SA SENADO

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TULUYAN nang pinagtibay ng Senado sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ang isang panukala na magpapabilis sa pagbili at administrasyon ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19 para sa mamamayang Pilipino.

Sa botong 22 pabor, inaprubahan ng Senado sa hybrid plenary session ang Senate Bill No. 2057 o ang COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.

Sinabi Senador Sonny Angara, chairperson ng Committee on Finance at isponsor ng panukala, na mapabibilis nito ang pagbili at administrasyon ng COVID-19 vaccines upang wakasan ang pandemya nang mas maaga at simulan ang pagpapasigla sa pagbangon ng ekonomiya ng bansa.

Pinagsama sa SBN 2057 ang SBN 2056 o ang Vaccine Indemnification Fund bill na inawtor ni Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, na konsolidasyon ng panukalang batas at resolusyon nina Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, Sens. Angara, Pia Cayetano, Imee R. Marcos, Grace Poe, at Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.

Sa sponsorship speech, sinabi ni Angara na layunin ng panukala na mapabilis ang pagbili ng administrasyon ng bakuna sa pamamagitan ng mga sumusunod na programa:

• By authorizing the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force against COVID-19 to undertake negotiated procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and the needed supplies and services for their storage, transport and distribution;

• By allowing provinces, cities, and municipalities to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and needed supplies and services;

• By allowing private entities to purchase vaccines subject to similar restrictions and conditions set for local government units and only for the sole and exclusive use of these private entities;

• By exempting from customs duties, value-added tax, excise tax, donor’s tax and other fees and charges levied on the procured COVID-19 vaccines and the necessary supplies for their storage, transport and distribution.

“Through the aforementioned steps, we hope to break down some regulatory barriers. We hope to free up some resources and empower as many government instrumentalities as we can towards the fast procurement and expeditious roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations,” ayon kay Angara.

Ayon pa kay Angara, kabilang sa panukala ang safeguards tulad ng awtoridad na ibinigay sa Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) na magbigay ng rekomendasyon sa Department of Health at Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) hinggil sa COVID-19 vaccines.

Naglaan din ang Senado ng halagang P500 milyon indemnity fund na gagamitin upang bayaran ang taong nabakuhan na makararanas ng seryosong epekto o side effect, o mamamatay. Kukunin ang pondo sa Contingent Fund at pamamahalaaan ng PhilHealth.

“The bill also mandates the issuance of COVID-19 vaccination cards, which could be digital or printed, to serve as record of all COVID-19 vaccinations received,” ayon kay Angara. (ESTONG REYES)

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