Bong Go

Bong Go renews call for eligible Pinoys to get inoculated to ensure no vaccines go to waste

December 19, 2022 People's Journal 84 views

CHAIR of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go renewed his call for eligible Filipinos to join in the government’s goal of overcoming the pandemic as soon as possible by getting their jabs against COVID-19 while the Department of Health remains to negotiate with vaccine manufacturers in acquiring bivalent vaccines.

According to DOH Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, bivalent vaccines are expected to be available in the country by the first quarter of 2023.

“(Itong) bivalent vaccines, pag-aralan munang mabuti kung epektibo na ba ito para sa atin ngayon. Hindi pa nga nauubos ang mga bakunang nandidiyan, nae-expire (na) nga ang iba, so I’m sure mas alam po ito ng ating mga health officials kung ano ang dapat gawin sa ngayon. Kung nararapat na bang bumili, kakailanganin na ba?,” expressed Go during an ambush interview after the relief operation he spearheaded in San Nicolas, Batangas on Thursday, December 15.

“Makukumbinsi ba natin ang mga kababayan natin na magpaturok nito. Dapat po walang masayang. Pero mas importante sa akin ‘yung buhay at kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino. Mas mabuti na ‘yung ahead tayo na hindi tayo mabibigla… Mas mabuti na ‘yung protektado tayo sa sakit,” he underscored.

Go then expressed his hope in the government’s pandemic recovery efforts as long as it would hasten the country’s recovery and return to normalcy, saying, “I’m sure pinag-aaralan ito ng ating Department of Health officials. Suportado ko po ito kung saka-sakali as your chairman sa Committee on Health sa Senado, suportado ko po kung ang plano ng Department of Health officials natin basta protektado po ang kalusugan at buhay ng bawat Pilipino.”

In light of issues on vaccine wastage, Go has urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to efficiently do its mandate and audit funds used for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. The senator has likewise repeatedly called for cooperation and transparency to ensure that the public is aware that the funds used for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccinations are well-spent.

“Sa ngayon, gawin ng COA ang kanyang mandato to conduct a thorough audit and compel the agencies involved na magsubmit po ng mga required reports,” Go said previously.

“Ako naman po, I am for transparency. Ano po ang katotohanan, ano bang nangyari, bakit nag-expire po ito? Napalitan na ba ito ng mga bagong bakuna? Pera po ito ng gobyerno, bawat piso, bawat sentimo po ay napakahalaga po na malaman ng taumbayan ang katotohanan” he continued.

On the other hand, Vergeire has said that DOH has already submitted the necessary documents to COA related to the national government’s COVID-19 vaccine procurement, stating, “Handa pong harapin ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan ang anumang katanungan ukol sa ating vaccine procurement sapagkat kampante tayo na lahat ng mga prosesong isinagawa ng ating pamahalaan sa pagbili ng mga bakuna upang maprotektahan ang ating mga kababayan ay nakaayon sa batas.”

Underscoring how the pandemic became an eye-opener for the government, the lawmaker also continues to push for his twin legislative measures, Senate Bill Nos. 196 and 196, that would significantly help the country’s health sector.

The proposed SBN 195 shall establish the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention which will serve as the lead agency for developing communicable disease control and prevention initiatives. It will be primarily responsible for controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the SBN 196 seeks to create the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines which will serve as the principal laboratory of the country in providing virology laboratory investigations, research, and technical coordination of the entire network of virology laboratories nationwide. It shall also provide guidelines for the establishment and operation of testing, reference and biosafety Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 research laboratories throughout the country.

“Dapat po palagi tayong handa. Lagi ko pong sinasabi na dapat maging one-step ahead tayo sa kahit na anumang sakuna. Nakita naman po natin ang dinulot ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa. Mas mabuti na handa tayo. Mas mabuti nga makagawa tayo ng sarili nating bakuna para hindi tayo umaasa sa ibang bansa,” said Go.

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