Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday called on the Chinese government to actively cooperate with Philippine agencies in investigating the illegal entry of unauthorized China-made vaccines in the country.
“Sa lakas ba naman ng seguridad at surveillance sa China, imposibleng hindi nila malalaman kung sino ang may pakana ng black market vaccines na ito,” she said.
“China must explain. Beijing should lead their own inquiry and submit pertinent information to Philippine agencies. Responsibilidad nilang alamin kung paano nakalabas sa bansa nila at nakarating sa bansa natin ang mga ilegal na bakuna,” Hontiveros said.
The senator believes a Beijing-led investigation is also in China’s best interest: “Transparency from their end could raise the public trust in China-made vaccines, not only in the Philippines but also across the world. Sa huli, makakatulong ito sa pagbangon ng mundo laban sa pandemya.”
Hontiveros said she hopes the issue of illegal distribution and inoculation would be cleared soon, amid results of a recent Pulse Asia survey indicating that nearly half of Filipinos are unwilling to take the Covid-19 vaccine mainly because they are unsure of its safety.
“Ang mga hindi awtorisadong pagpapabakuna galing sa black market ay isa sa mga maaaring dahilan ng mababang tiwala ng publiko sa Covid-19 vaccine,” she said.
“It is important that only authorized, safe, and registered vaccines will be used, and we must communicate this loudly and clearly,” the senator said.
“Dapat maliwanagan tayo sa mga kababalaghan ng ilegal na pagbabakuna para manumbalik ang tiwala ng bawat mamamayan. Through transparency and accountability, we will be able to restore the public’s trust in our institutions and effectively power through this health and economic crisis,” Hontiveros said.