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Galvez to discuss vaccine prices with senators

VACCINE Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez on Friday promised to discuss in the Senate prices of the COVID 19 vaccine the government will procure once the supply agreement with the manufacturers is signed.

During the third hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked Galvez if they are willing to be transparent on the prices once everything was set since they will use taxpayer’s money.

This was after the vaccine czar refused to divulge the prices of the vaccines since it is covered by the non-disclosure agreement and negotiations are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Galvez has been told by senators to be wary of “unscrupulous” individuals who may take advantage of the government’s negotiations for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

“We were assured by Sec. Galvez of utmost transparency and I’m sure we can look into the negotiations at any time,” Sotto said.

The meeting was also attended by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

“On our part, we warned him of the possibility of some unscrupulous others who might take advantage of these negotiations,” Sotto added.

Galvez “promised to keep the Senate posted on the goings-on relative to the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines,” according to Sotto.

The Senate President added that Galvez showed them documents on the government’s vaccine deals “that will prove surely beneficial to our people.”

“We came across information for the necessity for the non-disclosure agreements,” Sotto said.

Galvez’ meeting with the senators was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier defended the reluctance of government officials to make public the price offered by China’s Sinovac BioTech for its COVID-19 vaccine.