Price of Sinovac’s vaccine should not remain confidential, Drilon tells Galvez
MANILA, Philippines — The price of China’s Sinovac vaccine to be sold to the Philippine government should no longer remain confidential, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Monday, citing the public’s right to information.
“You have the obligation to inform the people, these are public funds,” Drilon said in an online interview with reporters, addressing vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.
“Huwag po natin kalimutan, nasa ating Saligang Batas, right to information is a basic rule. Kailangang malaman ng taumbayan kung ano ba ang katotohanan,” he added.
(Let’s not forget, it’s under our Constitution, that right to information is a basic rule. The Filipino people need to know the truth.)
Galvez continues not to disclose the exact price tag of Sinovac’s vaccine to be procured by the Philippines, saying the government is bound by a confidentiality agreement.
But he assured that the Philippines was able to negotiate for a cheaper price than Sinovac’s market price of $26.5 and added that the price will not exceed P700 per dose.
While Drilon agrees that the government can invoke a non-disclosure agreement when the deal is still under negotiation, the senator said it should no longer be the case once an agreement has been signed.
He cited earlier statements made by Galvez that the term-sheet has already been signed by the government and Sinovac to “lock in” 25 million vaccine doses for production.
Drilon said that since the term-sheet has already been signed, its content should no longer be covered by the confidentiality agreement.
“May pinirmahan na kayo Sec. Galvez na term-sheet agreement with Sinovac, ano ba ang nakalagay? Magkano ang presyo, ilan, kailan dadating. Napirmahan na… that will be contained in the supply agreement. Hindi siya pwedeng pumirma ng isang kontrata na iba do’n sa term-sheet,” the minority leader explained.
(You already signed a term-sheet agreement with Sinovac, Sec. Galvez, what does it contain? The price, how many, and the date of delivery. It has been signed…that will be contained in the supply agreement. The supply agreement can’t be signed if it would not be the same as the term-sheet.)
“Ibig sabihin, ‘pag pumirma ng supply agreement, dapat sundin yung term sheet, yung price, volume, etcetera. Sa akin hindi na covered ng confidentiality ‘yan,” he added.
(That means, when a supply agreement has been signed, the term-sheet is followed, the price, volume, etcetera. For me, it no longer covered by confidentiality.)
According to Drilon, the government should work on building up public confidence in the national vaccination plan.
This, following a recent Pulse Asia survey showing that nearly half of Filipinos are apprehensive of getting inoculated due to safety reasons.
“Confidence is still lacking. Bakit po? Issues of safety, issue of effectivity at hindi po nakakatulong yung mga conflicting statement tungkol sa presyo, dahil nagaalala ang taumbayan na ‘ay baka may kumikita dito’,” Drilon said.
(Confidence is still lacking. Why? Issues of safety, issue of effectivity and the conflicting statements about the price is not helping because it would make the public think ‘Who is benefiting from this?’)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.