MANILA — To ensure the timely and efficient implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination plan, the Government is set to increase the fifteen percent (15%) limit on advance payments for the contract amount allocated for the procurement of vaccines against the dreaded Covid-19 virus.
So says budget and management Secretary Wendel Avisado who adds that with the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination plan fast approaching, the existing authority which only allows advance payment of up to 15 percent is provided under Memorandum Order No. 172, series of 2005.
“This is only applicable in exceptional cases such as the procurement of goods during a state of calamity,” Avisado says. “That is why the Government is presently experiencing difficulties in negotiating with various pharmaceutical companies due to the limitations imposed under existing laws.”
Avisado claims that at present, the Government only pays an advance payment of 15 percent, but the fact is, pharmaceutical companies want advance payment way ahead of the delivery date.
“In other words, talagang tatalunin tayo ng mga mayayamang bansa,” Avisado said while calling on the public to show more patience and greater understanding regarding the vaccine procurement process.
Avisado also explains that the Government is bounded by a confidentiality agreement with international pharmaceutical companies. It cannot divulge unit prices and the manner of delivery of procured vaccines.
However, he assures that all of the transactions made by the Government shall remain legitimate and honest.
The budget secretary also reassures the public that the budget for the said vaccines has already been allocated and is now ready for release. (▴JSM/JuanManila)