President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed his willingness to gamble his presidency to prove that National Policy Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., is a man of honor and has no links to corruption.

‘Di talaga corrupt! Duterte to bet presidency on Galvez’ integrity

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed his willingness to gamble his presidency to prove that National Policy Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., is a man of honor and has no links to corruption.

“Ipusta ko ‘yung presidency ko. Walang graft ‘yan at si Secretary Galvez, kilala ko (I will bet my presidency on Galvez. He is not involved in graft practices. I know him),” Duterte said in a speech delivered in Jolo, Sulu.

He made the statement after some senators earlier questioned Galvez’s alleged refusal to disclose the prices of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines that the Philippine government would receive from at least seven drugmakers.

The President vouched for Galvez’s integrity, saying the vaccine czar is “doing everything he can” to help the country succeed in its fight against Covid-19.

He also said he saw Galvez’s potential to serve the government when the latter played a key role in the 2017 Marawi siege.

A former military man, Galvez was among the generals who led the five-month battle against a terrorist group in Marawi City in 2017.

“I was there in Marawi when we were fighting the Islamists and I saw in him the… Kaya noong pag-retire niya, kinuha ko. Tapos ngayon ito, ibinigay ko sa kanya lahat (So when he retired, I chose him to be part of my Cabinet. And now, I gave him the task [to lead the vaccination drive]),” Duterte said.

Galvez on Wednesday said the government is expected to finalize the supply agreements with seven pharmaceutical firms by the end of January or the first week of February.

The Philippine government has been negotiating with Covid-19 vaccine makers Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Gamaleya, and Novavax.

During the resumption of the Senate hearing on the government’s Covid-19 vaccine acquisition program on Friday, Galvez assured that the selection and procurement of Covid-19 vaccines would be “science-based” and would heed the recommendation of the vaccine expert panel and the Food and Drug Administration.

The government has set aside about PHP82.5 billion for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines.

It has also signed term sheet agreements with Novovax, Moderna, and AstraZeneca for the delivery of 30 million, 20 million, and 17 million doses of their vaccine, respectively.

Some 50,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine are also expected to arrive in the country in February. (PNA)

Leave a Comment


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

May parusa ‘pag umayaw! AFP requires soldiers to be vaccinated vs COVID-19

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) inoculation is mandatory for all of its personnel but they have the option to choose among vaccine brands other than Sinovac at their own expense.

“Thus, to get inoculated or not is not an option for the members of the AFP, it is a duty. At the most, the exercise of an option will be the option to as to what brand of vaccine they will be availing of, but the cost of which will not be paid by the AFP,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in an online press briefing.

Malacañang earlier announced that the first batch of Sinovac Biotech vaccines composed of 600,000 doses donated by China is set to arrive on Sunday (Feb. 28), with 100,000 doses of which will be given to the Department of National Defense, the AFP’s mother agency.

Aside from military personnel, Arevalo added that their chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana has said that their dependents must be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those opting for other vaccine brands who decided to forego their inoculation can do so but once they are called to duty to serve as front-liners, they will have no choice but to follow.

“They must perform their duties and task but they will have to resort to the traditional health protocol, mag-mask, mag-shield, maghugas ng kamay at mag-maintain ng social distance pansamantala habang hindi pa sila natuturukan ng vaccine na pinipili nila (like the wearing of mask, face shields, regularly washing their hands, and maintaining social distance while they are yet to be vaccinated with the brand of their choice),” Arevalo said.

Meanwhile, said AFP personnel assigned and performing duties that will expose them to Covid-19 patients are required to have themselves vaccinated with the available vaccines.

He added that the AFP will play three major roles in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine — security, medical and logistics support operations. (PNA)

Payag ba sa barter? Bello waiting for UK’s response to PH offer to deploy more healthcare workers

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is waiting for the response of the United Kingdom (UK) on its proposed provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine amid UK’s request for an exemption from the deployment cap of Filipino healthcare workers (HCWs).

In a telephone interview on Thursday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they expect the UK government to respond on the issue within 10 days.

“I told them for me to be able to recommend it to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases), I have to be assured of the safety of our workers. The only way we can be assured about the safety of our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) is (through) the vaccine,” he said.

Bello said the UK may want to send the coronavirus vaccines so the country can immunize the nurses before they are deployed.

“For us to be able to send our medical workers, we want to ensure that they are safe and their health is secured. We don’t have the vaccine, if they want, they can send us (vaccine),” he added.

Bello said he did not provide specific quantities of the vaccines.

“Why not include all OFWs and not just HCWs. In case they are ready to give us the vaccines, I will give them the number of OFWs that will be vaccinated. I just want to be sure that those who will be deployed have received the vaccine,” he added.

The Philippine government is asking the UK and Germany to provide vaccines against Covid-19 for OFWs as part of the agreement in relation to the deployment of health service workers, particularly nurses.

The country has two bilateral agreements with the UK in 2002 and 2003.

The UK and Germany are seeking to be exempted from the 5,000 cap on the deployment of nurses being implemented by the government to ensure there is an adequate number of nurses in the country in case the need arises.

Meanwhile, Bello said he understands the reaction of the people on the issue.

“They thought I would barter our nurses with the vaccine. I just hope that before they accuse me, they should have asked me first and look at what really happened. They just criticized and what they are saying is not true,” he added. (PNA)



Business News

Tagalog News

Weekly Sports News

Sign up for our Newsletter

We are a social news blog where politikos, their kin, friends and allies are the center of the universe. We write about their words and deeds, likes and dislikes, dreams and fears. We are here to entertain, provoke and hopefully inform you along the way.