MANILA, Philippines – Former Health Secretary Janette Garin revealed that the acquisition of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine was not funded by the 2016 national budget.
During the Senate hearing on the government's vaccination program on Monday Garin said that the acquisition of dengue vaccines was financed from the diverse personnel fund.
"Yes, wala siya sa Law of General Assignments Wala siya sa plano sa 2016. But it was in the pipeline because it is part of the strategy of prevention and control of dengue that is given to all countries," he said.
Garin also clarified that the vaccines were purchased by the Children's Medical Center of the Philippines, not by the DOH. The memorandum of understanding between the DOH and PCMC for the transfer of funds and the procurement of vaccines was finalized on February 19, 2016.
"It has never come to my attention to question the integrity of PCMC, as far as I know, PCMC operates in transparency and its dealings are very clear, "he said.
But PCMC executive director Julius Lecciones said Garin ordered him to buy the vaccines.
The government spent P3.5 billion for the purchase of Dengvaxia vaccines for the mbad immunization program, which was launched in April 2016 during the mandate of Garin.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the agency would demand that the French pharmaceutical giant reimburse the amount paid by the government.
DOH suspended the mbad immunization program on December 1, one day after Sanofi Pasteur revealed that the vaccine poses a threat to those without previous dengue infection.
More than 860,000 people have been vaccinated with Dengvaxia. More than 830,000 children were vaccinated in schools and communities, while another 32,000 people were vaccinated in private hospitals.
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Senator Richard Gordon, president of the Senate, said he was "disturbed" by the approval of the purchase of the controversial vaccine against dengue, saying it was "too fast".
"Gaano ba kabilis makakuha ng order of release of special badignment? Gaano ba kabilis makakuha ng pondo sa Department of Budget and Management? Aba magnonobena ka ng tatlong libong beses bago ka makapaglabas ng pear But ito napakabilis ng paglabas ng pear" said Gordon.
Gordon, who presented the schedule on dealing with Dengvaxia, believes that a "conspiracy" was underway to accelerate the implementation of the vaccination program.
"Very good, very strong signs may conspire, Unang-un, wala sa GAA & yung., Yung budget for sa dengue vaccine, Pangalawa, isiningit lang nila & yan., Gumawa, sila ng paraan para isingit" , He said.
But Garin maintained that she is not involved in any kind of corruption, and noted that the movement to procure Dengvaxia was an "institutional decision".
"I categorically deny any wrong, I am not involved in any corruption, I am willing to be investigated," he said.
The former head of health added: "Ang desisyon sa pagbili ng Dengvaxia ay result ng dekadang pag-aaral at pag-plano ng Department of Health."
READ : Garin: Decision on Dengvaxia based on & data available at the time & # 39;
On December 10, 2015, Garin submitted a proposal to DBM for the acquisition of three million doses of the vaccine against dengue, nine days later the former head of health met with Sanofi executives in Paris, France.
DBM issued a SARO to DOH to cover the acquisition of the dengue vaccine on December 29, 2015.
LEA : DOH suspends the dengue immunization program on potential risk for health