Lawmaker Garin denies pressuring Ubial for more Dengvaxia budget

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2017 10:00 PM

Iloilo district Rep. Oscar Garin Jr. on Friday refuted former health secretary Paulyn Ubial's claim that he pressured her into continuing and expanding the controversial dengue vaccine program.

Garin, husband of former health secretary Janette Garin who first implemented the program, said he was only concerned that parents of children administered with Dengvaxia will have to pay for the third dose of the vaccine.

"Records will speak that I only asked her if it is true that some children in NCR will only receive two doses, and will they pay for the third dose? I conveyed my concern that DOH should provide for the 3 full doses. Simpleng tanong ng isang mambabatas. Hindi ko alam na sa pananaw ni secretary Ubial, ang tanong pala ay pressure na," Garin said in a statement.

He added that right now he wants to be beside his wife, who underwent an appendectomy, and take care of personal matters.

"I do hope this somehow clarifies things. In the meantime, permit me to concentrate my energies in taking care of my wife as she had a rough sailing because of her operation and Senate hearings," he said.

"Also I have to go back to Leyte immediately to attend to my father-in-law's funeral. I hope we have a chance to have that interview when the congressional hearing in January pushes through."

Garin stressed he is not a member of the Commission on Appointments, which didn't confirm Ubial.

"And for the record, I am not part of the Commission on Appointments and the record of the proceedings and findings of the CA on why secretary Ubial was rejected is of public record and I understand it was for many reasons," he said.

Garin is a vice chairman of the House committee on appropriations.