ONLY the government can procure the coronavirus vaccines, according to the National Task Force Against COVID-19. This is because the vaccines are not yet for commercial use globally so the makers only deal with governments.
But many are opposed to the idea. One of which is the country’s largest organization of businessmen–the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
In fact, the PCCI has already appealed to the national government to allow the private sector to directly procure the vaccines from accredited sources.
PCCI made the statement earlier in its intent to help the government to speed up the rollout of the vaccine program.
Its president, Benedicto Yujuico said their group urged the government to allow the private sector to import vaccines without restrictions or conditions so they could move quickly and efficiently in vaccinating more people.
Yujuico said the inoculation program should be accelerated amid the rising COVID-19 cases “to ensure the safety of our workers and people, improve consumer confidence and hasten the recovery of our economy“.
He added the country could not afford another lockdown as this will be fatal to economic recovery.
“We have to keep pace with our neighbors, which except for Indonesia, have lower infection rates than us and yet are ahead of us, including Indonesia, in implementing the vaccination program.
We cannot risk being left behind again and revert to being the ‘basket case’ of Asia,” Yujuico said.
The PCCI has also called on the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track the review of applications for emergency use authorization for the Covid-19 vaccines.
With the recent surge of Covid 19 cases in the country, the growing appeal to hasten the roll-out of the vaccination deserves serious attention from the national task force.
It’s going to be a great tragedy in the Philippines if there would still be Filipinos getting sick and dying because of the virus even though the vaccines are already in our hands.
While opportunities abound for technologies to advance our digital shift in the financial system, the same opportunities are currently being exploited to do harm to individuals and to the economy as a whole.
This is according to Fintech Alliance Philippines founding chair Lito Villanueva who urged the general public to practice heightened vigilance against cybercriminals as reported online scams in the Philippines continue to go up.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed for the digital shift in financial transactions for almost everyone. Neophytes in the landscape are still navigating its features and are commonly susceptible to scams.
Citizens should keep their guards up when it comes to online transactions and always check with relevant banks and institutions whenever they receive suspicious messages.
This way, we can guard our own finances and in turn, ensure that our economy can better recover with less of the threat of cybercriminals hampering our recovery from the pandemic,”said Villanueva,.
Villanueva is also the executive vice-president and chief innovation and inclusion officer of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation.
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