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Procurement

Absolute transparency a must in vaccine procurement – DOJ chief

MANILA, Philippines – Even prior to the choice of vaccine and negotiation with the prospective provider, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said transparency should always be observed at the earliest possible opportunity with respect to safety and efficacy.

The government has already secured 25 million doses of CoronaVac, the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac. But the exact price has not been disclosed yet, with officials citing the confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) that it signed with the Chinese firm.

READ: PH secures 25-M COVID vaccines from China’s Sinovac;

After reports that it costs more at less than 70 percent efficacy than Pfizer and Moderna with over 90 percent efficacy, some sectors criticize the government for not revealing the value of the controversial China vaccine.

Guevarra said “there may be a good reason for non-disclosure of the commercial terms (price competition, distribution channels, etc.)”

But Guevarra said, “absolute transparency is necessary for relation to the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, as the very lives of our people are at stake.”

Local government units have allotted budgets to procure vaccines for their respective areas; then they would enter into a tripartite agreement with the national government. The national government, through vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, has been negotiating with vaccine manufacturers.

“I have not seen the tripartite agreement among the national government, the local government sector, and the vaccine manufacturer, so I am not in a position to comment on whether the non-disclosure provision is anchored on a sound policy basis.”

“What I know, however, is that the tripartite agreement is a broad preparatory agreement, to be followed by actual supply contracts containing specific terms, such as on pricing,” he added.

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