Use refund for Dengvaxia victims
Regarding the P1.16 billion refunded by Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, our group, Aksyon Health Workers, urges the House of Representatives and the Senate to use the refund for medical and other assistance to Dengvaxia vaccine victims.
Per the Senate version, the refund will be allotted as follows: P945,827,530 for Medical Assistance Program or MAP; P78,296,250 for the assessment and monitoring of Dengvaxia-vaccinated children; P70,000,000 for supplies and medicine; P67,586,220 for health workers to be deployed to monitor the vaccinated kids.
While we welcome the Senate’s approval of the special fund for Dengvaxia victims, the Senate could have done better by allotting the almost P1-billion fund to direct health services for Dengvaxia victims in public hospitals and health facilities.
We are deeply concerned that the bulk of this special fund would only be accessed through MAP.
In recent years, MAP has been known to use the same system as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which requires referral from legislators prior to the availment and use of program funds. The PDAF or pork barrel has been declared illegal since 2013.
We urge the Senate to reevaluate the allotment they passed and consider placing the funds directly in public hospitals and health facilities, to provide immediate and direct health care and services to the Dengvaxia victims.
JOSEPH CARABEO, MD, President, Aksyon Health Workers, firstname.lastname@example.org
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