House to Prioritize COVID-19 Vaccination Program as Session Resumes
The House of Representatives announced that they will focus on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in the Philippines and other high-priority legislative measures as their session continues on Monday, January 18.
However, before the session resumes on Monday, the House Committee on Health disclosed that they will be conducting a hearing on the national government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco states, “Our goal is to make sure that every Filipino will have access to a safe and effective vaccine, which is currently the best way for us to beat the virus and move forward.”
At present, Congress has allocated ₱72.5 billion for the purchase, storage, transportation, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines under the General Appropriations Act of 2021.
Additionally, another ₱2 billion is designated for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of the health workers performing their duties during the vaccine’s distribution and administration.
Besides the COVID-19 vaccination agenda, Velasco noted that the lower chamber will fast-track the approval of 34 legislative priorities.
Such priorities include the bill which seeks to provide President Rodrigo Duterte the power to suspend the scheduled increases in the contribution rates of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Social Security System (SSS) during times of “national emergencies.”
According to Velasco, 13 of the 34 legislative measures have already been approved on final reading.
Such measures include the proposed Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act, the Internet Transaction Act, and the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act.