Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez on Monday assured the integrity of funds that will be used to purchase 148 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine for Filipinos.
In a televised briefing, Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte that the stringent clauses on transparency and anti-corruption implemented by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, from which the country will borrow funds to purchase the COVID-19 jabs, ensured that the government would not lose money in the process.
“Malinis po yung deal natin. Wala po akong hawak na pera (Our deals are clean. I’m not holding any money),” Galvez told Duterte.
In fact, the vaccine czar said, the Philippines had saved $700 million (about P33.6 billion) due to the government’s negotiation efforts, allowing it to buy more vaccines from various manufacturers.
“Kaya ang nangyari po, yung dating plano po namin ni (Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque na 70 million doses, umangat po ng 148 million doses,” Galvez said.
He noted that the vaccine manufacturers the country is dealing with have also agreed on a “low-cost, no profit” principle, which Duque reiterated to Duterte in the same briefing.
The President praised Galvez for his efforts and told Filipinos: “Pagkatapos ng lahat na ito, at the end of my term, you will see kung paano namin kayong pinrotektahan.”
Duterte also took a swipe at critics of the government and Galvez, adding: “Gusto nila pure and pristine sila. What is the easiest for them to appear white? They will paint you black.”