MANIFESTATION OF SEN. CHRISTOPHER ‘BONG’ GO DURING THE SENATE REGULAR SESSION
18 January 2021

Re: COVID-19 VACCINES

Mr. President, just a short manifestation in relation to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s privilege speech. First of all, I wish to commend my colleagues for our collective effort to help the government and our people in overcoming the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This is a testament that through our bayanihan efforts, we can recover as one!

In view of some questions regarding the actual final prices, if any, of vaccines against COVID-19, I urge the agencies involved to be transparent and prudent in using our limited resources.

I trust that our Vaccine Czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez, will always uphold the interest of the Filipino people when negotiating for our vaccines. After all, these procurements by the national government are done through multi-lateral agreements with fund managers, such as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank.

Magtiwala po tayo sa ating gobyerno. I am personally aware na bago pa man nagsimula sa social media ang mga kuro-kuro at haka-haka, masusi na po ang pagtrabaho ng mga opisyal ng ating pamahalaan to get the best for our country and for every Filipino.

The President’s commitment has never changed – this administration will do everything to ensure that the national vaccination program – from approval to rollout and implementation – is safe, sure and secure.

Para kay Pangulong Duterte, ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipino ay nasa sentro ng programa natin. Ito ang responsibilidad na ginagampanan natin palagi. Our officials will be measured by their adherence to the President’s guidance.

Mr. President, intindihin po natin na ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para makakuha ng sapat na supply ng ligtas at epektibong mga bakuna. May sinusunod rin tayong mga patakaran at proseso sa negosasyon at kasama na diyan ang mga Non-Disclosure Agreements with pharmaceutical companies.

Nevertheless, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, let me remind the national government that they are still mandated to ensure proper and full accounting of public funds used and these should be disclosed to the public at the proper time without compromising the ongoing negotiations.

I urge Vaccine Czar Secretary Galvez to explain the process further without compromising ongoing efforts to procure and administer as many vaccines as needed for our people. And out of transparency, maybe we can ask him if he can disclose the prices at the appropriate time to allay any doubts of the public, not only of Sinovac, but of all vaccines.

I continue my appeal to concerned authorities to expedite the process of acquiring vaccines and collaborate with the private sector and LGUs for the proper implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap.

Huwag na nating pahirapan pa dahil lahat naman tayo nagmamadali dito. ‘Yun po ang inaantay natin para unti-unti na tayo makabalik sa normal na pamumuhay. Let us work together to ensure that no Filipino is left behind in the road towards recovery.

Siguraduhing dapat na bawat piso ng pondo ng bayan ay hindi nasasayang, lalo na sa panahon ng krisis. Siguraduhin din nating makakabenepisyo ito sa lahat, kung kaya’t patuloy ang aking paalala na unahin dapat ang mga mahihirap, mga bahagi ng vulnerable sectors, at mga frontliners, lalo na sa mga malalayong lugar na hindi nga po alam kung ano itong vaccine at saan ito kukunin.

To those spreading misinformation and taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of Filipinos during these challenging times, I also appeal to you to join the ‘bayanihan’ efforts instead.

Tulad ng sabi ko noong Biyernes, kung walang katapusan ang pagdududa, as legislators, why don’t we legislate a law, not only to prepare for adverse events, but also against those who are taking advantage of the situation — para guarded lahat at may penalties po. Ikulong o isama natin sa death penalty — ‘yung mga nangsasamantala dyan at nagkakalat ng maling impormasyon, dapat po kayo ang unang turukan — by lethal injection!

Ang importante po, sana ay maumpisahan na po ang roll out at maturukan na po ang mga Pilipino ng safe na vaccine. Mas lalong matatagalan ito dahil merong pagdududa. Kawawa naman po ang ating frontliners. Kawawa naman po ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan, sila po ang apektado dito kung lalong matatagalan pa.

Magtulungan na lang po tayo. Magbayanihan na lang tayo, mga kapatid kong Pilipino. Magtulungan na lang po tayo.

Maraming salamat, Mr. President.

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