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Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday said the government should not let the controversial Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) purchase the coronavirus vaccines, considering the difficulties it faced in buying ordinary commodities.

“Kung nahihirapan ngang bumili ng suka, bakuna pa kaya?” he said.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the government to prepay the Covid-19 vaccines was the correct decision, as vaccines “are not COD goods you can order from Lazada. They are not postpaid items, but prepaid.”

“More so when there is a race among nations to acquire them, with the first batches already pledged to rich nations who have bankrolled their development,” Recto said.

“There is even an Amazing Race-kind of hunt among nations for vaccines. Officials of some of our ASEAN neighbors were reported to have jetted all over the world to scour for and secure supply contracts,” he said.

But Recto said the purchase should not be done by PITC.

“One good development is that the adults in the Cabinet have gotten into the act, and I hope they will dictate the tempo and not the rank amateurs of PITC whose stint in office has so far been unblemished with success,” he said.

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