Albay representative and House of Representatives tax panel chief Joey Salceda called on the government to not rely solely on Covid19 vaccine donations.
Salceda said that the country’s vaccine program must be “more ambitious” and that speedy distribution was key to covering losses on the economic front.
“As more people are able to go out and the velocity of money recovers, we can then effectively pump-prime the economy with more government spending. That’s how we can create jobs sustainably,” Salceda stated.
He further noted that public transportation must resume operations, as it is an essential part of industrial growth.
Meanwhile, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the country is willing to pay more in order to acquire vaccines earlier.
Thirty million doses of American company Novovax’s Covovax are expected to be obtained by the government.
Thirteen million Moderna, and 1 million CoronaVac doses are also set to be procured, later in the month.
Six hundred thousand CoronaVac doses were donated recently by China, with 400,000 more to follow as per their pledge.
Furthermore, the national government, local government units (LGUs) and the private sector are in coordination for the procurement of 17 million AstraZeneca vaccines doses.
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine however, is yet to obtain an emergency use authorization (EUA) before acquisition can begin.
The country’s vaccine program officially began rollout on March 1, with frontline health workers being the priority recipients.