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Friday, April 19, 2024

Solgen to join DOH in futurevaccine procurement nego

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The Office of the Solicitor General is expected to join the Department of Health  (DOH) in negotiations for another bulk purchase of vaccine supply against the deadly Covid-19 virus, according to Senator Francis Tolentino, chairman of the investigating Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Public Accountability.

Tolentino said Blue Ribbon probers expect the DOH to heed suggestions to include the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in negotiations for another bulk purchase of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine supply.

According to Tolentino, there were suggestions that the OSG would be a “big help giving advice and reviewing provisions of the contract, particularly if the vaccine supplier demands a provision on non-disclosure or confidentiality clause which could affect the audit of the transaction.”

It will be recalled that the DOH at first refused to share details of the transaction with the Commission on Audit (COA), citing the confidential provisions of the contract between the government and the supplier dating back to 2020 due to the non-disclosure provision.

At the Blue Ribbon inquiry, former members of the task force clarified they never said the transaction can’t be scrutinized by COA as a copy of the contract was provided to the audit body.

At one point in the hearing, Tolentino observed no other agencies of government ever claimed they can’t be reviewed.

He said the DOH accepted the suggestion to include the OSG in reviewing future contracts, particularly for the planned purchase of bivalent vaccines against Covid-19 in the first quarter of 2023. -30-

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