In response to COVID-19 pandemic
SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go has expressed his support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s intention to extend present government declarations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to sustain efforts to overcome the global health crisis and other emerging health threats.
In a statement, the senator said he welcomes the news that the President is inclined to make an extension until the end of the year of the country’s State of Public Health Emergency. The PBBM administration is also reportedly considering the extension of the State of Calamity which is due to end on September 12, 2022.
“Once extended, hopefully, this will allow the government to continue to procure vaccines under emergency use authorizations or EUA and impose price controls on select basic commodities,” Go said.
The senator added that an extension of the State of Calamity will likewise extend the effectivity of Republic Act No. 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021. The law, which was co-authored and co-sponsored by Go, authorizes the private sector and local government units to help in carrying out the national COVID-19 vaccination program, among others.
Former president Rodrigo Duterte initially placed the Philippines under a state of public emergency on March 8, 2020, when the first local COVID-19 transmission was reported by the Department of Health. The declaration will continue to be “in force and effect” according to the proclamation until it is revoked or lifted by the President.
The former president also placed the country under a state of calamity on March 16, 2020 for six months. The proclamation was extended in September 2020 for another year, and then again in September 2021.
The state of calamity allows the government, as well as local governments, “to continue the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination program, augment pandemic response funds, monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations.”
The Food and Drug Administration’s compassionate special permits and emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccines may be revoked or invalidated if the declaration is lifted.
Meanwhile, Go continues to encourage eligible Filipinos to participate in the government’s vaccination program to better protect themselves from COVID-19 and to sustain the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
“Samantala, patuloy kong hinihimok ang ating mga kababayang nag-aalangan pa na magpaturok na ng booster shots para sa dagdag na proteksyon laban sa COVID-19,” said Go.
“Bakuna ang tanging solusyon ngayon para malampasan ang pandemyang ito,” he stressed.
Finally, Go reaffirmed his support for government initiatives and policies geared at safeguarding the welfare and health of Filipinos, emphasizing that their lives are of utmost importance.
“Bilang Chair ng Senate Committee on Health, suportado ko ang mga hakbang ng gobyerno upang maproteksyunan ang kapakanan at kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan, dahil pinakamahalaga sa lahat ang buhay ng mga Pilipino,” Go concluded.