Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday said the enactment of a supplemental budget to finance the medical needs of those so-called Dengvaxia victims will depend on whether or not President Duterte will certify the measure.
While Senate finance committee chair Sen. Loren Legarda already assured the approval of the bill appropriating the P1.16 billion refunded by Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of Dengvaxia vaccine, for the said purpose, Sotto stressed the need for the President’s urgent certification.
This will expedite the proceedings and have the measure passed before Congress goes on sine die adjournment this week.
“If there is certification, then we can pass it. If there is no certification, I doubt it,” Sotto said.
But so far, the Senate chief said he has yet to receive any certification from the Palace on this matter.
Legarda’s committee called a hearing on the matter of the said amount refunded by French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur, representing the unused vials of Dengvaxia, the dengue immunization program that had been terminated by the government following the controversy on its health risk to those inoculated but have not fallen ill in the past from the mosquito borne disease.
The senator said her committee is just awaiting for the House of Representatives to pass the bill and transmit to the Senate for approval.
But pending the lower house version, the Senate is already readying its counterpart version to reconcile with that of the House of Representatives, Legarda said.