The Philippines will receive the biggest single day delivery of vaccines by far today, June 10, with the arrival of one million doses of Sinovac vaccines earlier this morning and the expected arrival of more than 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccines.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this announcement in a press briefing today, where he mentioned that today’s delivery is part of the 11 million vaccine doses that are expected to be delivered this month of June.
“Sisiguraduhin natin na ang ating mga lokal na pamahalaan ay magkakaroon ng mga bakuna,” said Secretary Roque.
This is in response to reports that some local government units have run out of vaccines and that some vaccination centers have stopped operating.
The Palace official added, “Tiniyak ng ating Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez na magkakaroon ng steady supply ng bakuna at bibigyang prayoridad ng ating vaccine deployment ang mga lugar na most vulnerable sa COVID-19 surges, alinsunod sa direktiba ng ating Presidente.”
Secretary Roque also gave assurance that new vaccine deliveries are on its way to areas that have reported to have used up all their vaccine supplies already. “Huwag po kayong mag-alala, may paparating na pong mga bagong suplay,” Sec. Roque said.
Roque who is also spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) reiterated that there is no inequality in the distribution of vaccines. “It is based on science na talaga pong kung saan yung pinaka-mataas ang mga kaso ng COVID-19 ay binibigyan po natin ng karagdagang supply, dahil ang pagbabakuna nga po ay isang depensa laban sa lalo pang pagkalat ng COVID19,” explained Sec. Roque.
On another matter, the President’s spokesman said that on the suggestion to amend the Philippine Baselines Law, President Duterte is open to the idea and has asked the Office of the Executive Secretary for a full staff work.
“Ang sagot ni Presidente, pakisabi kay Justice, pag merong suggestions sa akin ibibigay ko muna yan sa Office ng Legal ng Executive Secretary, then it will be forwarded to the Executive Secretary for a recommendation for my decision,” commented Sec. Roque about the issue.
Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Francis Jardeleza earlier wrote a letter to the President, saying a new Baselines Law needs legislation, contrary to the suggestion of certain quarters that a Presidential Proclamation would suffice.
Prof. Rommel Bagares, executive director of the Center for International Law, agreed with the former SC Associate Justice saying that an Executive Act cannot amend a law passed by Congress. Prof Bagares said that according to International Law, sovereign acts are needed to show acts of effective occupation by a sovereign and legislation is one of them.
Meanwhile, Dr. Melissa Loja, International Law scholar, explained that the proposed bill will identify the features claimed or occupied by the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, like coordinates and names. Dr. Loja added that it will also identify and demarcate the baseline, and will reiterate continuing claims to sovereignty of the Philippines. ### OPS-PCOO