MANILA (UPDATE)- The Philippines' vaccine czar on Monday assured the public that the Duterte administration got the best prices for the COVID-19 vaccines it ordered from different manufacturers.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said they ensured that all the terms of the negotiations are beneficial to the country.
"'Yung deal po natin, talagang sinasabi po natin sa ating mga tao, sa ating mga mamamayan, malinis po 'yung deal natin," he said.
(All our deals, I assure the public, our deals are clean.)
He also said it is impossible for corruption to take place since the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are in charge of the payments.
"Wala po tayong hinahawakang pera. Ang pera po, ang magbabayad po, bangko. Alam po natin ang transaction ng bangko, talagang malinis po 'yan. Kumbaga sa ano, hindi po tayo magkakaroon ng tinatawag na corruption because of the World Bank integrity at saka po 'yung Asian Development Bank," Galvez said.
(We do not have any money on hand. The money will come straight from the banks. Bank transactions are clean, there won't be any corruption because of the integrity of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.)
Galvez also reiterated that the government signed a non-disclosure agreement with the vaccine manufacturers, and this is the reason why they cannot divulge the contract price of the vaccines yet.
He likewise assured the public that the country was able to get the vaccines at the best price possible.
"Maipapangako ko po sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan na lahat ng negosasyon, at cost, meaning, no profit. At noong kinompute ko po lahat ng brand, lumalabas po na naka-save po tayo ng $700 million. Meaning 'yung kaniyang tinatawag natin na offer price, naibaba po natin ng halos kalahati. Kaya ang nangyari po, 'yung aming plano ni Sec. Duque na 70 million doses, umangat po ng 148 million doses. Meaning, doon po naipapakita na maganda po ang presyo na ating nakuha," Galvez said.
(I can promise you that all negotiations were done at cost, meaning no profit. When I computed all the brands, it turned out that we were able to save $700 million. This means that we were able to negotiate for lower the offer price. This is why from the original 70 million doses, we were able to order 148 million doses. This shows that we got the best prices for the vaccines.)
He emphasized the Philippines will lose the 148 million doses if they break the the non-disclosure agreement with Sinovac.
“Ang presyo ng ating mga bibilhing bakuna ay saklaw po ng CDA o Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement kaya hindi po natin ito maaaring ilabas ngayon. Maaari pong mawala sa atin ang 148 million doses ng vaccine kapag lumabag tayo sa ating kasunduan,” Galvez said.
(The price of the vaccines our included in the CDA or Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement, that's why it can't be disclosed for now. We may lose 148 million doses if we violate the deal.)
He explained that the Philippines is also negotiating with 7 other vaccine manufacturers — Novavax, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Astrazeneca, J&J, and Gamaleya — which all require a signed CDA.
“Hindi lamang po sa isang vaccine manufacturer tayo pumirma ng CDA, kundi sa lahat ng ating kausap,” Galvez said.
(We did not sign a CDA with only one vaccine manufacturer, but also to all others.)
Galvez earlier said all deals are fair and square, adding that he is he is hurt when the public generalizes all government officials as corrupt when there are honest public servants.
He also belied reports that the Sinovac vaccines are priced at $36 or $76.5, adding that prices are between those of the Indian prices and Indonesian prices. The P3,629 price tag is for the Sinopharm brand, he added.