Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri on Tuesday said the Senate will try to avoid a bicameral conference over the conflicting provisions of Senate Bill 2057 and House Bill 8648 by having the House adopt their amendments.
“Try namin ipa-adopt nalang… We incorporated naman amendments requested by the House so hopefully acceptable lahat nang provisions natin,” he told reporters.
The Senate on Tuesday passed on third and final reading the bill expediting the purchase and administration of Covid-19 vaccines to Filipinos, a day after the House passed its own version.
Usually, the two chambers meet in a bicameral conference to reconcile clashing provisions between the two versions. But it’s possible to have one chamber adopt the changes introduced by the other, according to Zubiri.
The Senate bill aims to expedite the procurement and administration of Covid-19 vaccines through the following:
• By authorizing the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force against COVID-19 to undertake negotiated procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and the needed supplies and services for their storage, transport and distribution;
• By allowing provinces, cities, and municipalities to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and needed supplies and services;
• By allowing private entities to purchase vaccines subject to similar restrictions and conditions set for local government units and only for the sole and exclusive use of these private entities;
• By exempting from customs duties, value-added tax, excise tax, donor’s tax and other fees and charges levied on the procured COVID-19 vaccines and the necessary supplies for their storage, transport and distribution.