Govt. told to expedite local vaccine production photo The Manila Times
Government

Govt. told to expedite local vaccine production

Oct 26, 2021, 7:14 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Columnist

Rep. Marlyn Alonte echoed earlier calls of her peers in Congress for the government to expedite local production of COVID 19 and other vaccines so that the country can deal with any resurgence of the deadly virus.

With the expected full reopening of the economy as quarantine protocols are eased and vaccine hesitancy continues to be a problem, government must ensure local production of vaccines in case of a resurgence of infections from COVID 19 and its variants.

With local production, the country is assured of stable supply of vaccines that are more adapted to Filipino gene make-up and physical chemistry as compared to Western-made vaccines, in case of resurgence.

Besides, it would be cheaper and easier for our country to produce and source everything locally, thereby reducing dependence on foreign vaccines and their payment in dollars and other foreign currencies, that are in short supply in the financial system.

Rep. Marlyn Alonte, of Binan City, prodded the Fiscal Incentives Review Board under the Department of Finance, the Department of Trade and Industry and various other investment promotion agencies to expedite the local production of COVID 19 jabs and other vaccines for people and livestock.

“Perhaps the Department of Foreign Affairs and the ambassadors could help securing vaccine licensing and joint venture production,” she said.

The incentives are already in place through the CREATE Act other recently- enacted laws as well as long-standing laws and regulations. Local production can be done through formal licensing to or joint venture with local manufacturers.

“Initially, local production would most likely be through licensed manufacturing using the formula and processing methods, raw materials, and equipment. This is easier to deploy.

Longer term production would be through joint venture and by that time there would probably be new formulas for the COVID variants and other infectious viruses and bacteria,” Alonte said.

Local production of vaccines for people and for livestock is crucial to our economic s and national security.

Vaccines for livestock would include those against the African swine fever and other contagious diseases, so that our farm and livestock sectors would be protected from these diseases and future biosecurity threats.

Foreign donors thanked

She also thanked foreign donors of COVID 19 vaccines through the COVAX facility—as a Filipino and member of the House Committee of Foreign Affairs—for the equitable distribution of the vaccines to countries having difficulty accessing supplies.

Special thanks to the DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin's leadership, and the quiet yet profound work of our ambassadors and their counterpart envoys.

The leading donor of COVAX vaccines reaching our country is the United States—our major source of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. She also thanked the European Union member-states, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Japan, and other neighbors in Southeast Asia and East Asia for their COVID vaccine donations.

“All those vaccines help save Filipino lives, lessen suffering, reopen Philippine businesses and the economy,” she said.

“I also thank the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and other aid agencies of our EU friends because their concessional loans and technical assistance gave us a lot of the funds we needed so we could afford to buy and distribute the vaccines, and improve health system defense and testing capacities.”

Tags: #DoF, #DTIandotherinvestmentbodies, #localCOVID19vaccineproduction, #COVID19, #economy


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