Duterte Signs Vaccine Indemnity Bill into Law
President Rodrigo Duterte signs a bill that allows the government to set up an indemnity fund worth ₱500 million to individuals who may suffer adverse reactions or side effects after receiving the vaccine under the COVID-19 vaccination program.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 expedites the procurement of vaccines to local government units (LGUs) and the private sector. The act also mandates the issuance of vaccination cards by the Department of Health (DOH), LGUs, and private entities to those who have been administered with the vaccine.
The National Vaccination Indemnity Fund will also be established to compensate any individual who suffers adverse effects from their vaccination under the country’s vaccination program.
The bill includes the provision of excluding vaccine makers from liabilities that may arise from vaccinations. The government began to roll out the COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday, February 28.
The ₱500 million indemnity fund sourced from the Contingency Fund of the 2021 General Appropriations Act is authorized to augment the existing funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
PhilHealth is also authorized to manage the said funds during the program.
Under the bill, a special task group composed of medical and vaccine experts with proven track records will be established to monitor the effects that may arise after the administration of the vaccines.
Additionally, the bill exempts all donated and government-procured vaccines, essential medical supplies, and other supplies used for the vaccination program from tax and duties. Such exemptions include customs duties, value-added tax (VAT), excise tax, donor’s tax, and other fees and charges.