THE people expect concerned government authorities, through the Department of Health (DOH), to now prepare for the eventual manufacture of a vaccine against the deadly COVID-19.
This, the DOH, headed by Secretary Francisco T. Duque III of Pangasinan, will do by including funds for the procurement of enough COVID-19 vaccines in its proposed budget for next year.
In fact, even the leadership of the House of Representatives is prepared to appropriate funds for the purchase of vaccines against the disease, according to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez urged the DOH to include in its proposed budget for 2021 funding requirements for the doses the country needs to protect the people from COVID-19.
A lawyer, Congressman Rodriguez is chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments.
Speaker Cayetano said it is the health department and not the two-chamber Congress or any other state agency that has the expertise to come up with estimated funding requirements.
A former senator, Cayetano said he preferred that funds be already appropriated in case a vaccine for the unseen but dreaded corona virus is developed and made available in the market.
“We will have to rely on them…especially considering that the COVID-19 vaccine is yet to be found, though several countries and pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop it,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Finance have still time to make adjustments to accommodate appropriations for COVID-19 vaccines.
Thus, we urge the health authorities to include in their proposed 2021 national budget funds to purchase anti-COVID vaccines to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the Filipino people.