Chiz wants vax use probe

May 7, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 284 views

THE World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration that the Covid-19 global health emergency is over should also lift the secrecy on the funds spent by the government for vaccines, Senator Chiz Escudero said.

What should not however end, Escudero stressed, “is the pursuit to bring to justice those who misused pandemic funds by buying overpriced medical supplies such as face masks.”

“We owe it to our medical frontliners who were among our 66,444 Covid dead to make those who robbed the nation blind while people were dying to pay for their crimes,“ he said.

Escudero described the Pharmally scandal as “financial treason done by a few while brave doctors were putting their lives on the line.”

“Covid should not be replaced by a disease called amnesia, where bad things done are forgotten because the pandemic war is over, “ he said.

As the nation pivots to normalcy, Escudero believes it is also time to “declassify all financial data related to vaccine purchases.”

“Hindi ko sinasabi na may mali o anomalya. Ang gusto lang natin ay sa ngalan ng transparency magkaroon ng malinaw na kwenta kung magkano nga talaga ang ginastos, “ he said.

Escudero said if the purchase price was below the global going rate then whose who made the savings “possible should be honored by the country, bigyan ng medalya.“

Escudero added that while vaccines expire “what does not is the duty to publicly report the amount spent for them.”

To disclose vaccine expenditures is to equally apply the “strict laws” on government spending, he added.

“If we penalize an ordinary government worker for failing to liquidate his local travel expenses then why should billions in vaccine purchases
be exempt from that accountability?”

He said a disclosure by agencies which undertook the procurement “will end the national guessing game as to the amount involved.”

“Iba iba ang numero na lumalabas. May report na P300 billion at meron naman inamin sa floor ng Senate na P145 billion,” he said.

Escudero said government cannot forever hide behind the “non-disclosure agreement or NDA” it signed with vaccine manufacturers in keeping under “vaccine purchase receipts.”

“We owe this honesty to our children who will spend much of their adult years paying for the billions of the loans we took out to buy those vaccines, “ he said.