First in Covid-19 vaccine law, but PH has no single shot yet – Zubiri
MANILA, Philippines— Said in jest, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri congratulated his colleagues for legislating vaccine procurement and implementation “without a single vaccine yet.”
Voting 22-0, the Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2057 or the proposed Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.
“I’d like to congratulate all our colleagues because we are probably the first country in the world to legislate vaccine procurement and implementation without a single vaccine yet,” Zubiri said before the chamber voted on the measure.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri. (File photo from his office)
“Magaling talaga ang Philippines,” he added, drawing laughs from his colleagues.
Senator Sonny Angara, who defended the measure as chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said: “We are forward-looking Mr. President.”
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan later echoed Zubiri’s sentiments.
“I’m proud to say that the Senate has not been remiss in its effort precisely to look into ways to be able to address and speed up and ensure a successful vaccine rollout,” Pangilinan said after the measure was approved.
“The main question now as raised earlier by our Majority Leader is: The law is there but where are the vaccines? And we hope that the vaccines will come soonest rather than later.”
Zubiri said the “ball is now in the court of the executive.”
“Ginawa na po natin lahat. Ang bola po ay nasa korte na ng ehekutibo (We did everything. The ball is now in the court of the executive). So we hope now, there will be no hindrance to the coming of the vaccines and this implementation on the rollout,” he said.
A to Senate Bill No. 2057 has also been approved by the House of Representatives.
The country’s Food and Drug and Administration has already granted an emergency use authorization to three Covid-19 vaccine makers – Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and – but no vaccines have been delivered yet to the Philippines as of this posting.
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