MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday criticized the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for authorizing 27 million doses of COVIDD-19 vaccines to remain unused as they neared expiration.
“More than two years into the pandemic, the IATF still manages to mismanage the government’s response to the pandemic. It is unacceptable that vaccines purchased with loans can end up in the trash,” Drilon said.
“It’s criminal negligence if they let this happen. I would like to remind the DOH and the IATF that it is Juan dela Cruz who will pay for these vaccines,” he added.
He reiterated that the purchase of millions of COVID-19 vaccines increased the country’s debt from 9 trillion pesos before the pandemic to 12 trillion pesos in February 2022.
Drilon said that at P500 per dose, the government would waste P13.5 billion if the 27 million doses were not delivered within the next three months.
The money, he said, could have been used instead to increase aid to drivers and operators of public utility vehicles hit by rising fuel prices.
“I hope we are not resting on our laurels. The coronavirus is still with us. We need to step up our vaccination efforts. We have 27 million doses of vaccines nearing their expiry date. The DOH and IATF should distribute in the most efficient way,” Drilon emphasized.
“Let’s not pass the expired vaccine to the next administration,” he said in Filipino.
27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will expire in July, says Concepcion
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.
What you need to know about the Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our primary health care and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited to Banco de Oro (BDO) current account # 007960018860 or donate via PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.