Palace scorns Robredo, says there's list already for those who'll get free COVID-19 vaccines
Malacanang scorned on Monday Vice President Leni Robredo after she suggested that the government should start identifying specific recipients of the free coronavirus vaccines.
In a televised press briefing in Davao City, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has mentioned that the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, soldiers, policemen, and the frontliners would be given priority once the COVID-19 vaccines are available.
In the case of the health frontliners, he said the Department of Health knows who they are.
"We don't have to adopt the suggestion because we already have the list. So, thank you very much again, but again, it's a bit too late because President Duterte is ten steps ahead," Roque said.
Robredo has suggested specific names of the recipients should be prepared while waiting for the vaccines.
Roque also assured that the government has the budget to purchase the initial batch of 24 million COVID-19 vaccines for the indigents.
He said that the poorest Filipinos would get the vaccination first.
Roque made the statement following reports, quoting Senate President Vicente Sotto III that Senator Panfilo Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez were vaccinated against COVID-19.
"If there are other people who were vaccinated already, it did not come from the government. The President's assurance is once the government purchases (the vaccines), the priority will be the poorest," he said.
He said the fund for the vaccine acquisition is either included in the proposed budget for next year or to be financed by the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines or through loans from the Asian Development Bank and World Bank. Celerina Monte/DMS