News Release

Palace: DOJ starts Dengvaxia probe; DOH to monitor recipients

Malacañang on Monday, December 4, assured the public that there is no reason to panic over the government’s dengue vaccination program even as it announced the start of a probe into the government’s procurement of Dengvaxia.

“[T]o allay the fears of the public, the DOJ (Department of Justice) has stated that it has initiated the investigation on the purchase of this vaccine,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing.

Roque assured Filipinos that President Rodrigo Duterte himself would take action if the investigation proves that there were irregularities in the government’s dengue vaccination program.

“I think the investigation will benefit everyone including those that made the decision to purchase the medicine. If there are any irregularities, we will find out,” he said.

Roque added, “So huwag po tayo mag-panic. At kung meron naman pong ibang datos na magpapakita na talagang may dahilan para maabala ang publiko, sasabihin naman po ‘yan ni Presidente Duterte. Wala po kaming itatago sa publiko.”

Meanwhile, Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson and infectious disease specialist, Assistant Secretary Lyndon Lee Suy, expressed the Health department’s commitment to open itself to any investigation.

Dr. Suy also assured the public that the DOH would continuously monitor the condition of Filipino recipients who already received doses of the vaccine.

“We have on hand right now in our regional offices, lahat ng address ng mga bata o ng mga recipient ng bakunang ito. It’s part of our commitment. We’re going to monitor them,” he added.

PH eliminates Maternal, Neonatal Tetanus – Palace

In the same press briefing, Roque proclaimed the government’s success in earning a Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) status for the Philippines.

This means that the country has less than one case of neonatal tetanus (NT) per 1,000 live births in every province or city, per reports from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Government’s efforts in providing quality health care services to pregnant women, mothers and newborns, including those in isolated and conflict-affected communities have finally met with success,” Roque said.

He further thanked the country’s health workers who faced numerous challenges to educate Filipinos on the importance of clean birth deliveries.

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan announced the conduct of a three-day event to commemorate the first-year anniversary of the implementation of the executive department’s Freedom of Information (FOI) program.

To jumpstart the celebration, a 2017 FOI Awards Ceremony was held at the Rizal Park Hotel Manila on Monday, to recognize the significant contributions of government agencies to the progress of the FOI program.  ###PCO-Content