Press Briefing

National Task Force (NTF) against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III Press Conference at the Zuellig Pharma in Parañaque City

GALVEZ: (RECORDING STARTS) …and I am so excited.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Secretary Galvez. Now, let’s hear the message of Secretary Francisco Duque III of Department of Health and co-chairperson of IATF (?)

SEC. DUQUE: Thank you very much. Again, we convey our appreciation and gratitude to the top management of the Zuellig Pharma, in general and in particular to the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Maikel Kuijpers and also the Chief Business Officer Ma’am Jannette Jakosalem; and joining me of course is Secretary Galvez and the DOH Team, Usec. Carolina Taiño and Director Valencia and we are quiet gratified with what we have seen in this part of our inspection activities today.

As you very well know, we can from Unilab and then we went to the RITM and then now Zuellig and we will continue to look at the different government facilities, storage facilities. And so far, what we have seen, suggest very strongly there is adequacy of cold storage facilities across the three different temperature ranges from +2 to +8, the -30 and then the -70 to -80 degrees centigrade temperature cold storage facilities.

And as I correctly pointed out and I would like to underscore, I would like to emphasize, para po doon sa +2, +8, mayroon pong 650 million doses na kakayahan ito pong facility na ito. Para naman po sa -20 centigrade, they have 40 million doses capacity and for the -70 to -80 degrees centigrade, they have 6.5 million doses na kakayanin po ng kanilang facilities.

Kanya hindi lang po iyong facilities dito, mayroon din po sila sa Davao City and Cebu City. So, they are also strategically situated to be able to very responsibly deliver the vaccines all the way from Manila or Metro Manila Hubs to their regions in Regions XI and Region VII and also the delivery supply chain can reach to the actual vaccination sites.

So, magandang-maganda po end to end, supply chain system is adequate as far as our assessment or evaluation today is concerned and we are confident that there is going to be a lot more capacities that we need to insure for a successful rollout of our immunization program against COVID-19.

So, again, I would like to thank the Zuellig Pharma for the very warm reception, they were very gracious in giving us an actual tour of the facilities. But this was preceded by a briefing, a video showing of how the system from the end to end supply chain system that is being managed by Zuellig Pharma is concerned. So, again, we thank them as well as the media for staying with us and we have a more inspection visits to make just to make sure that there is confidence in so far as the adequacy of cold storage facilities is concerned. So, maraming salamat po!

MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Secretary Duque. And now let’s start with our question and answer portion. For our media friends, please state your name, the media company that you are representing and kung kanino po iyong inyong tanong.

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Sir, good afternoon. I am Vivienne Gulla from ABS-CBN. I would like to know the cost for these cold storage facilities, how much will it cost the government to store the COVID-19 vaccines in this kind of facilities po? Secretary Duque, Secretary Galvez or sir Mike.

SEC. GALVEZ: We will still discuss this with the pharmaceutical company, with Zuellig and also with the vaccine manufacturer, because we are still on the middle of the negotiation of the supply agreement. But more or less, we can see for each vaccine, more or less, there is a rough statement of maybe $2 or $2.5 per dose. That’s our internet calculation. Because we also looked at some pharmaceuticals, that their ano… more less ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 dollars per dose. That’s the requirement or—but we still have to negotiate with the vaccine manufacturer and also with the pharmaceutical cold storage facilities.

MAIKEL KUIJPERS/CEO ZUELLIG PHARMA: Yes, I think we are at the first stage where we just first go to the assessment, make sure that we meet the requirements and after that I think we will go in further discussions as to what services and SOAs will be agreed upon, service levels and then we take it from there. But I am quite confident that we would you know have very competitive and attractive rates that would meet the requirements of the government.

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Secretary Duque, based on the inspection that we had today, you mentioned that there is adequate capacity for COVID-19 vaccines; that is just based on the three storage facilities that we visited.

How many more cold storage facilities are you going to visit or are you considering; and when are we expecting the government to actually pick which storage facility it will use for the COVID-19 vaccines? Because I understand that we are expecting the first batch of deliveries next month.

SEC. DUQUE: Let’s put it in its proper perspective, the goal of the national government for this year is to be able import 140, 150 million doses of different kinds of vaccines. So, we have seven as of now that we considering. But we must remember that the 140, 150 million doses will not all come together at once or in one sitting. So, we will have to really be very clear about the schedules of deliveries.

Then in accordance with the set schedules of the deliveries, we will be able to align the cold storage facilities and so we cannot be also saying, we will use all the cold storage facilities. I think it is more—because it will entail cost ‘no. So, it is prudent that there has to be a very good plan, okay. Which means iyong delivery schedules alam natin, ilan iyong darating by every week or every month, I think, Secretary Galvez might have the more complete info on this.

But as I have said, planning dictates ‘no that there is an alignment to the schedules of deliveries and so we will insure that the capacities are there when those first or second and down the road, the batches of vaccines will arrive. So kasama po, pinaplano na po natin lahat ito.

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Secretary Galvez, can I just get an update on the arrivals, schedule of arrivals of the vaccine. Previously you mentioned February 20, Sinovac vaccine are expected to arrive and the another vaccine is expected to arrive next month. Mayroon po bang changes especially when it comes to the volume and the arrival of the vaccines?

SEC. GALVEZ: Nakita naman natin iyong arrival po na saan ni-negotiate natin na very indicative lang na mayroon talaga, is this coming February, iyong 50,000 and we are still negotiating with the companies na there should be an early arrival. So, that’s why as I have said earlier, the supply agreement is still ongoing and we are still negotiating for early delivery, so most likely ang the main bulk of our orders will be at Q3 and Q4 but we are negotiating for an early delivery.

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Opo. And may iba pa po ba na magdo-donate ng vaccine apart from China?

SEC. GALVEZ: Yeah, we have already confirmed that 500,000 from Sinovac from China will be donated for us. Now, once that the EUA has been approved, they can deliver immediately. So,—

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: How about other countries po?

SEC. GALVEZ: Yes. Meaning the other countries, we are I think we’re negotiating with two countries—

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Opo. Which country, sir?

SEC. GALVEZ: There’s a positive ano but we will not—

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Disclose it yet?

SEC. GALVEZ: Declare yet because the negotiation is still ongoing. But there—

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: How many countries?

SEC. GALVEZ: We have negotiated for countries and also two products.

VIVIENNE GULLA/ABS-CBN: Okay. Thank you, sir.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Vivienne Gulla. And our next question will be coming from?

Q: Hi, sir! Good afternoon! I’m Jenny from TV5. Sir, Secretary Galvez, kasi napapag-usapan na po iyong cold storage once na dumating na dito iyong vaccine, paano naman iyong pag-transport doon sa mga vaccination site. Paano po natin mapri-preserve iyong efficacy noon? Sinong magha-handle pa rin po noon?

SEC. GALVEZ: Iyong usapan po natin na ng mga vaccine manufacturer, ang sabi nga nila it will be [unclear]. Iyong [unclear] is just identify iyong vaccination center and they will provide the vaccines. So, meaning they have already have a service provider that they have contacted and that’s the way they will deliver the vaccine particularly Pfizer and Moderna. These are the most critical ones and we will make sure that the deliveries of these will be taken care of immediately. And I believe Zuellig has the capability of really… have that central management and storage considering their capacities is too huge that can cater all the different vaccines.

Q: Sir? Sir, may we know the process? What would be the process on delivering those vaccines to the vaccination sites?

Q: We will receive the vaccines here. We will store it centrally in the required temperature ranges depending on the vaccine that is available. Based on the delivery we have and the vaccine itself we will obviously make sure that its specs are according to the requirements. So, if it’s Pfizer and its -80, it will be packed with dry ice and their temperature levels and then it will be dispatch to the centers.

We have capacity here in Metro Manila, we have also capacity in Cebu and Davao and we have validated packaging methods that will last for 2 to 8 up to four days and for -20 and -80 for 24 hours which is sufficient to reach the vaccination centers.

Q: Sir, how long iyong pananatili ng vaccine, halimbawa dumating na siya dito sa Unilab for example, Zuellig, ilang araw siya bago siya ma-deliver sa mga vaccination sites, sir?

SEC. GALVEZ: I believe nasabi ko na po kanina na mayroon tayong tinatawag na inspection from the airport and we will still have iyong tinatawag na time and motion at the airport and we will make sure na the delivery will not be delayed. Ang ano po namin kung mapupunta po sa—ang inspection dito na po sa warehouse, we will make sure na it will not exceed five days.

Q: Sir, last on my part. Update lang, sir, doon sa Moderna. Ano po iyong update niya kasi you have mentioned yesterday or the other day na kung na-sign na ba iyong term sheet, that’s what you mentioned.

SEC. GALVEZ: Yesterday, we negotiated with Moderna and with us negotiating is Ambassador Romualdez and businessman Enrique Razon and it is some sort of multilateral agreement between the business sector, the LGU, the vaccine maker – the Moderna, and the national government.

We are negotiating on splitting the 20 million to 10 million for the private sector and the LGU and the 10 million for the government. And we are very happy to report that the business sector and the LGU already break the five million mark.

Q: Thank you po.

MODERATOR: Thank you, [inaudible]. And now the next [inaudible] is from CNN Philippines.

Q: Good afternoon po! I’m Carolyn Bonquin from CNN Philippines. My first question is for Secretary Galvez. Sir, I understand that you are still inspecting various cold chain warehouses. Sir, when do you expect po na magkakaroon tayo ng final decision on who are you signing a contract regarding the storage po?

SEC. GALVEZ: We’re expecting that the final contract of supply agreement will be finished within January or maybe first week of February and we expect that upon learning the indicative date of the delivery, we will be having the final rundown and rehearsals and we will coordinate with the LGU so that all the rehearsals and also the time and motion from the airport to the warehouse, to the LGU, it will be timed and it will be rehearsed. And I believe the critical terms are already been ironed out, so we are very confident that by January all the contracts will be finished.

Q: Sir, we already have about 20 candidate cold storage warehouses. Sir, what exactly are you looking for po, what exactly are the criteria that you’re looking for po for the storage facility?

SEC. DUQUE: Well, fundamentally iyong kakayahan nilang mag-store ng +2, +8, -20, -70, to -80 degree centigrade, that’s really very important para hindi na hiwa-hiwalay, doon na lang consolidated na.

And then of course, iyong kanilang distribution strength. So, from their national, say, their central hub, mayroon ba silang regional distribution hub, mayroon ba silang warehouse, mayroon ba silang cold storage capacity in the regions and then from the regions bound to our vaccination sites.

And we are looking about, we are preparing about 4,500 vaccination sites to include public and private hospitals, LGU hospitals as well, the City Health Offices, the Provincial Health Offices, the Rural Health Units, the other implementing units, the hospital/health facilities of the PNP, AFP, the BJMP, the BuCor. So, we’re going to use all these facilities as immunization sites, ‘no.

So, in that selection, tama ka ano, there are more than about 20 that our supply chain, Usec., has met with and of these, there are only four so far that seem to qualify insofar as our distribution, our warehousing, our hauling, our, distribution to the vaccination sites are concerned. So, iyong apat na iyon hindi ko alam kung iyong mga iba makakahabol pa but we are in the middle of negotiations with them.

Q: So, most likely, sir, iyong the rest of the 16, iyong logistical concerns iyong reason kaya mas qualified ang apat?

SEC. DUQUE: Yes, kasi ayaw natin ng isang third party logistic provider na hindi niya kaya lahat gawin iyong end. Kasi iyong ideal scenario end to end supply chain system adequacy and readiness. Hindi puwede iyong process A-C kaniya tapos D to F, eh isu-subcontract niya sa iba. Eh, mahihirapan po tayo eh bakuna po itong pinag-uusapan natin, eh, napaka-sensitive po nito kaya kinakailangan talaga, kailangan talaga ang gagamitin dito pharma-grade na mga cold storage facilities katuad ng Zuellig Pharma and also Unilab and also the other cold storage facilities within the capacities of the third party logistics provider.

Q: Sir, kasi most of the vaccine supplies will arrive here in Luzon. How about Visayas and Mindanao po, is it possible or are you planning to have some of the doses directly shipped to the island provinces or to Visayas and Mindanao po?

SEC. GALVEZ: It will depend to the third party provider and also with the pharmaceutical company and also the vaccine maker because there are also—for as long as there is a storage in the areas of Cebu and Davao and other major cities, okay po iyon. Pero parang angnakita namin na the possibility of deploying directly, iyong mga strategic locations like Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and also Davao, these are the major hubs na puwede siguro na diretso.

And we are talking with the pharmaceutical companies and also with the vaccine company makers, iyon ngasinasabini sir na end to end. Kailangan kapag once ini-store sa main storage iyong vaccine, they have the capacity to deploy it. Meaning, ibig sabihin, may strategic reach siya to deploy anywhere.

Q: Secretary Galvez, during the ULAP Forum yesterday, you mentioned that Moderna price is around US$20. Sir, can you confirm this po?

SEC. GALVEZ: Ang ano po natin, niri-range namin kasi I have CDA eh. So kapagnagsabiako, there is no exact prices. Iyon galing iyon sa internet, iyong prices niya is around 32 to 37.

Q: Thirty?

SEC. GALVEZ: Thirty-two to thirty-seven ang price niya, iyan iyong nasa market price. You can ano sa internet. And iyon nga, once nabina-balance po natin iyong efficacy at saka iyong cost, kaya po iyong sinasabinga natin na tatlongklase iyong ating criteria – safety, efficacy at saka iyong cost efficiency. Meaning, kungpareho naman iyong kaniyangefficacy and then magkaiba iyong price, you can buy one while you can buy two or three sa other. For the purpose of equity of access, mas maganda bilhinmo na iyong cost efficient.

So meaning, ganoon ang ginagawa namin. Sa negotiation, we have a lot of options. Iyong pitona options na iyon, tinitingnan namin iyon based doon sa criteria na binigay ng Vaccine Expert Panel. And from there, kapagbinigyan ng rank ng VEP, iyon ang binibigyan namin nang mas weight – iyong nasataas. So we will buy more volumes doon sa taas while we will buy a lesser volume doon sa baba. Kasi tama iyong sinasabini Sec. Duque at saka ng VEP na iyong mga vaccine, iba-iba kasi iyong mga gamit nila – may pambata, may pang-general purpose, mayroong pang-elderly. So kaya po kumukuha tayo ng portfolio.

Q: Sir, do you have a list na po kung sino iyong nasa top, sino iyong nasa bottom?

SEC. GALVEZ: Yeah, actually mayroon na tayong list. Iyon nga ang pinakikita natin sa ating mga presentation na during the Congress hearing, pinakikita natin iyon talaga. Nakikita nila natalagang iyong mga ranking nandoon.

Q: And on top of the list is which vaccine, sir?

SEC. GALVEZ: Nakita natin nanaka-top sa list Pfizer, and also iyong Sinovac number 4, and the also Moderna and AstraZeneca. Iyong top 4 na iyon ang nasa taas namin. And then J&J baka maging maganda iyan kasi wala pa kasing ano iyan eh, wala pang tinatawag na SRA o Stringent Regulatory Authorization o UAE kaya medyo nasa baba pa siya.

Q: Sir, last two na lang po. Sir, when will you release po the official pricelists based on our negotiations?

SEC. GALVEZ: If the company already allowed us. Kasi ano iyan eh, CDA is basically an agreement; it’s a contract, that we will not reveal prices when we are still negotiating, including iyong mga trade secrets and also the volumes and also iyong delivery.

When we signed this supply agreement and the parties agreed that we will announce it, we can announce it now. But while we don’t have yet the final contract, it is really some sort of honorable agreement, with trust and confidence that we will not reveal any prices because they are also negotiating with other countries. Unnecessary divulging of that information will compromise both negotiating terms – both of us and also them. Because for every violation that we will make, we might lose the volumes.

We have also the same issue with Malaysia. So if you’ll look at the December 27, I think the Time Street Journal in Malaysia, we have the same question of when we will reveal the infoit will compromise the pharmaceutical delivery, so it will compromise the contract. They might withdraw the contract and we might lose the 148 volumes.

Q: This question is either for Zuellig representatives or for our Cabinet secretaries. Sir, there’s actually an ongoing message in some Viber groups offering Moderna vaccine supposedly, through an allocation of ICTSI with …from Zuelligpharma. Sir, can you confirm this? And the President recently said that it’s okay for private individuals to buy vaccines as long as it is approved by the FDA. However, some doctors said that it is important to have our priority sectors vaccinated first so we can achieve the herd immunity. Sir, can you comment on this? Will we follow the President’s statement or are we going to stick with our priority sectors? Thank you.

SEC. GALVEZ: I believe we will stick with the priority of the ano…that’s why we get the Moderna, is also for our health workers. Actually, we are trying to convince them to have it on February even in smaller dosage. But I believe because of the Moderna is now becoming one of the most sought brands, they cannot pull out their supplies because it’s already committed.

But rest assured that the healthcare workers will be given the priority and it will not be compromised. Because the main objective of our vaccination is really to preserve our healthcare system; and that is a WHO regulation. Maybe Secretary Duque can expound.

SEC. DUQUE: Thank you, Sec. Galvez. Number one, we have to anchor our immunization program implementation on the agreed upon prioritization formula.

The prioritization formula is very clear – healthcare workers and then the senior citizens, and then adults with comorbidities, the indigent population, the uniformed personnel of AFP, PNP, and then you have the six up to about 12 other priority groups or sectors.

So we need that so that there is order in the execution or implementation of the vaccine rollout plan.

So even if the… say, a private company with—of course, the President is saying that, ‘Okay, if you want to import, you can import.’ But we are also appealing to the private companies to channel their importation through our model of tripartite agreement so that that way, masmaayos po ang ating implementation. Kasi kung wala tayong mga ganito, kaniya-kaniya na ‘no, masisira iyong prioritization natin then that might affect the credibility of government because it’s allowing kung sino na lang ‘no, free for all. And so this is not good.

So still, we stick to our prioritization formula. So iyong mga private sector, kung may mga doktor sila sa companies nila, may nurse sila, iyon ang uunahin. Kung naubosna nila iyon, iyong susunod naman. Kung may mga halimbawa, mga 60 and above sila na mga workers, eh ‘di iyon naman ang kanilang iineksiyunan. Kung may mga empleyado sila with comorbidities, may hypertension, oh di iyon naman ang susunod. So ganoonlang, iyon lang nang iyon. You go through several cycles observing the prioritization formula.

SEC. GALVEZ: Actually, pumasok iyong business sector because we have only limited funds for the portfolio. Normally, the amount that we can only give to Moderna is only ten million. Considering that Moderna offered 20 million, the business sector wanted to get the additional ten so that we can have the volume. So ibig sabihin, ang gusto ng business sector is not to get it for them; It is for us to get the additional volume, because they feel, even though Moderna has relatively higher prices, the cost of the vaccine is less as compared to the loss in business. So what they wanted is to get the volume, the national volume and have it increase by 10 million, by having that, their perception is that it is additional 5 million people, 5 million Filipinos that will be vaccinated with the volume that they can get.

CAROLYN BONQUIN/CNN: 10 million doses po?

SEC. GALVEZ: Yes, actually, when we negotiated, sinabi nga namin sa kanila with the prices of Moderna considering it is the highest price among the vaccines that we have, limited lang ang makuha natin. But the business sector and also some of the LGUs volunteered to help us and that is why we are very thankful with the business sector that it increase our volume by more or less 10 to 12 million doses, that’s 6 million Filipinos that will be vaccinated.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Caroline Bonquin of CNN, now let’s move on to Ian Cruz of GMA.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7: Good afternoon po, Secretary. My first question po, of the more than 20 cold storage facilities, can we say na very strong contender ang Zuellig Pharma?

SEC. DUQUE: Based on our assessment today, yes. We can say that. Apart from the fact that our Supply Chain Management Office and their technical team are also doing their own evaluation. So mayroon silang matrix, nakalagay doon ano iyong mga kakayahan nila vis-à-vis the end to end supply chain system – preparedness, readiness and adequacy. So iyon po iyong may criteria tayo, objective criteria, in the selection.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7: Secretary Galvez, we understand may meeting daw po kayo with Senate President Tito Sotto? Ano po iyong pag-uusapan ninyo? Iri-reveal po ba ninyo sa mga senator iyong prices ng mga bakuna natin?

SEC. GALVEZ: Noong nagkaroon po ng last meeting namin, senate hearing. I requested for some sort of an executive session and we agreed na magkaroon ng meeting with Senator Lacson and the other senator. As I have said earlier, during my interview, we want to reach out with the senate and the congress, because these are the important body. They help us a lot in our legislation for Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2. And we thought that it’s better to work together and see on how we can reconcile on the issues. And I received a call this morning and also last night, through Senator Bong Go and he said that you are directed by the President to report to SP and explain how the negotiations are ongoing and how it is being done for the sake of transparency. So we will discuss and without violating the CDA, we will discuss things, so that they will understand on how we negotiate. And we will explain that really there is due diligence, there is some sort of integrity on the way we are negotiating things. So that is the explanation that we will be having and maybe, we will tell them on how much comparatively that we have saved due to the diligent and very long negotiations that we have had with the companies.

SEC. DUQUE: Also, the Congress – Senate and the House – are really crucial partners of the Executive branch of government, because again, the legislations, pieces of legislation are needed. For example, we are appealing to both Houses to legislate the indemnification fund. Say for individuals who get vaccinated and manifest serious side effects, that’s one.

Number two, we are looking at legislating the issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization, despite the fact that there has been an executive order no. 121,authorizing FDA to issue EUAs to the candidate vaccines, once they have been evaluated as possessing high benefit versus risk. There is going to be a risk-benefit assessment in that regard. And the tax exemption, that we would like to appeal to Congress to also legislate. So there are many evolving pierces of, you know, legislation that can help ensure the successful response of the national government against the COVID-19 pandemic. So pagdating dito sa bakunahan, marami pa tayong kailangan po na mga batas na maipapasa.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7: Last na po on my part. Secretary Galvez and publiko po kasi kino-compare nila iyong price na lumalabas na ito iyong price na gagamitin natin or kukunin natin for Sinovac and yet doon sa Thailand and Malaysia, ganito. Iyon po kasi iyong nagiging dahilan nila kung bakit sila nagdududa doon sa presyo natin at bakit daw hindi ninyo ma-reveal.

SEC. GALVEZ: Dapat po nating malaman iyong pricing, hindi po talaga pareho iyan, kasi may mga conditions. Iyong sa Thailand questionable iyon, kasi maybe mayroong conditions iyon na iyong filling station sa Thailand. Kasi ako po inoperan din kami ng Sinovac na maging filling station tayo dito, pero noong in-evaluate namin talagang wala tayong kapabilidad. Puwedeng mangyari iyon – $5 iyon, kung iyong Thailand ang magiging filling station. As we know, Thailand will be the source of AstraZeneca, so may capacity sila to have a filling station, isa iyon sa condition.

Secondly, mas mababa ang presyo ng iba, dahil kasi kukunin nila mismo doon sa manufacturer, meaning doon nila kukunin sa point of origin, talagang bababa iyon.

Pangatlo is, kung malaking volume ang kinuha, talagang bababa iyong presyo. Iyong kakaunti ang volume, mas mataas ang presyo noon. Pero kung titingnan natin iyong presyo ng India at saka Indonesia, hindi po tayo nagkakalayo po. Ang nakikita po natin talaga, very fair, at cost iyong ating mga presyo. Ang masasabi ko lang po, iyong lahat ng mga companies na aming ni-negotiate ang kanilang negotiation price is at cost, karamihan po sa kanila, no profit or very marginal ang profit because the WHO give them the guidance that during this pandemic, kailangan no profit, equitable access at cost at saka para at least magkaroon ng tinatawag na no privilege access.

So, majority of the company heed on the request and the directive of WHO. So noong kinompute naming, from the price sa printed in internet, kinompute namin iyon, iyong price namin mas mababa ng 1.2 billion, iyong negotiated price. It means na talagang napakababa naming nakuha, nasa best price siya. So iyong sinasabi na 3,680 hindi po tama iyon, kaya nga sinasabi namin, iyong presyo ng Sinovac, hindi tataas ng 700 pesos. King titingnan ninyo baka mas mababa pa iyong presyo natin sa India.

SEC. DUQUE: Gusto ko lang bigyan-diin ano po. Ito kasing CDA, alam ko nagiging sanhi ito ng kalituhan, kaguluhan sa isip ng atin pong mga kababayan.

Ibig ko lang pong bigyang diin na itong mga confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements, these are conditions set not by government, but by the vaccine manufacturing companies. Ngayon kung hindi tayo papayag doon sa conditions na iyon, simple lang end point. Ano ang end point? We don’t get the vaccines!

Kasi kakaunti po ang bakuna, hindi po ito kaya pang masuplayan ang global demand. Kung iyong isa pipirma ng CDA with them, doon sila pupunta, bakit sila magsasayang ng panahon sa atin kung ayaw naman nating pumirma doon sa CDA na sila mismo ang nag-set noong mga provisions. But having said that, pinag-aaralan po talaga, iyong due diligence na sinabi po ni Secretary Galvez, eh ilang gabi na iyan hindi kami nakakatulog diyan at tinitingnan talaga iyong mga provisions na hindi po ito dapat disadvantageous or onerous to the Philippine government.

But there are certain provisions na non-negotiable eh, wala tayong magawa ‘no? Otherwise are we going to waive our access to those vaccines, eh hindi naman puwede because in so far as you know various considerations, iyong safety, iyong protection ng ating mga kababayan ang number one against these virus, kaya pumirma tayo doon sa CDA. Otherwise, tama iyong sinabi ni Secretary Galvez, kung hindi tayo pipirma, hindi tayo susunod, we will violate the CDA then we lose 148 million doses.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7: Thank you, sir.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Ian Cruz. Do we have questions…?

Q: Sir, habol lang po. Secretary Galvez, sabi daw po ni Secretary Roque, sinabihan daw po kayo in Pangulo na mag-walkout if senators verbally abused you po sa Senate hearing. Where you asked by the President or were you told by the Presidente, advised to walkout po kapag daw po verbally abused kayo sa Senate hearing po?

SEC. GALVEZ: Ang last directive niya sa akin is to reach out with the Senate President and also with the Senate members. So, siguro iyon lang ang tingnan natin. Kasi—

Q: Okay. Walang ganoong payo, sir?

SEC. GALVEZ: Mas maganda tingnan natin iyong last na directive sa akin. The directive to me is to report to Senate President Vicente Sotto.

Q: And totoo po ba na ayaw na ninyong umatend ng Senate hearing dahil mawawalan po kayo ng time to meet with vaccine makers?

SEC. GALVEZ: If I am directed to attend, I will attend. Ang ano ko lang naman sa ano natin is, we will ano—ang nakikita lang natin is talagang sa ngayon kasi very critical iyong date eh, every day na talagang mawala ako sa negotiation, napakahirap, kasi once na we were not able to close the contract, nag-i-slip sa ibang quarter iyong deliveries eh, kasi nag-uunahan nga iyong mga ibang countries.

So hanggang hindi natin naano iyong supply agreement nag-i-slip out iyong chances baka mamaya mawala iyong ating mga doses. So what I want is to really finish first itong negotiation, hindi naman ako tatakbo sa responsibility eh. And I can assure you that what we are doing is clean and we are very ano talaga na talagang walang corruption sa ginagawa namin.

Pangalawa, ang ano natin is talagang iyong pera it will be a bank to bank agreement. So diretso sa company babayaran ng Asian Development Bank at saka World Bank, alam ng mga ano iyan, pati mga pharmaceutical companies, very stringent ang regulatory niyan, walang corruption talaga iyan.

Q: Pero dadalo pa rin po kayo sa mga susunod na pagdinig ng Senado for example sa Friday po?

SEC. GALVEZ: Yes, dadalo ako.

Q: Sir, just a follow-up question lang po. Kailan po iyong meeting ninyo with senator… iba pa ito sa pagdalo ninyo sa Senate hearing?

SEC. GALVEZ: Hindi ko muna mai-disclose para—bukas na lang, mag-a-announce na lang po kami.

MODERATOR: And one phone in question lang po kay Secretary Duque from Naomi Tiburcio of PTV 4: Labex Corporation is advocating a Do It Yourself home antigen test with online monitoring ng nurse or doctor. Nakarating na po ba ito sa DOH at ano po ang komento ninyo rito?

SEC. DUQUE: Sa ngayon po, wala po akong komento patungkol diyan, padadaanin po natin sa ating COVID-19 laboratory expert panel. At sila po ang susuri, they will evaluate itong ganitong self-administering antigen testing for COVID-19 determination. So iyon lang po masasabi ko.

MODERATOR: Okay, thank you so much po sa ating panel for today. To wrap up the press conference can we request our officials to stand up for a short photo op. And thank you so much also to our media friends.


Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)