Dispatch from Crame No. 998: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s response to Malacañang’s statement calling the COVID-19 vaccine bill superfluous

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement calling my COVID-19 vaccine bill or the proposed Libreng Bakuna Kontra COVID-19 para sa Lahat ng Pilipino Act “redundant and superfluous” reflect this administration’s attitude in our continuing struggle against the pandemic. Mas gugustuhin pa nila mapahamak ang ating mga kababayan kaysa makinig sa kahit anong mungkahi mula sa minorya.

My bill presents many possible improvements on the current vaccination plan being espoused by the administration. First and foremost, it guarantees free vaccine for all Filipinos. Secondly, it gives our people the power to decide and to choose what vaccine to be administered to them by requiring prior informed consent, something that was never highlighted in any of our previous vaccination programs. Finally, the bill requires maintaining a database for the recipients. This is of extreme importance as we are fast tracking the first mass inoculation using a new vaccine. We need to be able to track down the recipients in case any untoward developments arise due to the vaccine.

Malacañang’s dismissive attitude towards any inputs from the political minority betrays their mediocrity, pettiness, and unwillingness to cooperate for the sake of our country. Their track record in failing to contain this pandemic shows how much our country has suffered due to their priority for politicking over knowledge-driven governance.

Kung patuloy na sablay sila sa paglaban sa COVID-19, dapat siguro ay magsimula na sila makinig kaysa patuloy sila magmagaling habang nahihirapan ang ating mga kababayan. ###

(Access the handwritten version here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/smc_998)

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