The Palace on Thursday, November 19, announced that the Philippines will be entering into advance market commitments (AMCs) with private manufacturers of anti-COVID-19 vaccines after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the conduct of negotiations and the signing of AMCs, including authorizing advanced payments for negotiated terms.
“Nag-present po ang ating Vaccine Czar na si National Task Force Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez noong Martes, November 17, kay Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte ng may kinalaman sa bakuna, na inaprubahan naman ng ating Pangulo,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. during a press briefing on November 19.
The Palace official explained that the process for AMCs would include signing of Confidentiality Data Agreement, negotiation and signing of AMCs, registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through Emergency Use Authority (EUAs), advance payment based on negotiated terms, and mobilization and delivery.
Secretary Roque also explained the various modes of vaccine financing that include direct procurement, multilateral loans, bilateral loans, and private sector financing through tripartite agreement with the government, the pharmaceutical company, and private sector company.
“(N)ag commit na po ang ating mga pribadong kumpanya na sila ang bibili ng isang bilyong dosage dahil hindi naman po sila makabili diretso sa mga gobyerbo na nagpo-produce ng mga bakuna. So sila po ang bibili, sila ang gagastos, pero singkwenta hanggang otsyenta porsiyento ibibigay nila po sa ating gobyerno para ipamigay sa mga mahihirap,” Secretary Roque said.
Vaccine Czar and National Task Force against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. confirmed in the said press briefing that President Duterte has indeed approved the recommendation to enter into AMCs with private vaccine manufacturers and to give advance payments for the vaccines.
Secretary Galvez said that results of ongoing vaccine clinical trials of pharmaceutical companies are very promising, with efficacy of 90 to 95 percent.
On the issuance of EUAs, Sec. Galvez said that EUAs can shorten the process of getting an approval with the FDA from six months to only 21 days. EUAs, said Galvez, is being used in other countries like in China, the United States, and Australia.
Galvez assured that although the EUAs will skip some processes in vaccine approval, the Philippines’ vaccine expert panel and ethics review board, as well as the FDA, will be conscientious in their evaluation of the vaccines. He said that through collaborative regulatory evaluation with other countries, the Philippines can be assured that once the vaccine has been approved by FDAs with stringent commissions, its safety is most likely assured.
On another matter, Roque reiterated the signing by the President of Executive Order No 119, which refers to the establishment of a National Administrative Center in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. The Cabinet member said that this will serve as an integrated government center outside of Metro Manila and will serve as recovery center and back-up administrative hub in case the seat of national government will be damaged by a natural calamity and other hazards.
The Cabinet official also announced the signing of Executive Order No. 120 by the Chief Executive establishing the Build Back Better Task Force for the post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery efforts of areas that were affected by typhoons. The task force will be headed by the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and co-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
In view of the recent devastating typhoons that hit the country, President Duterte also signed Proclamation No. 1051 declaring a State of Calamity for the entire Luzon. Accordingly, the State of Calamity means that a price freeze for basic goods and commodities will be in effect in affected areas, and it will also give ample latitude to use funds for rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts. ### OPS-PCOO