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Garin: Draft order vs. firms purchasing COVID-19 vaccines 'shouldn't even be considered'

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 3/22/2021 ANNA FELICIA BAJO,GMA News
Janette Garin standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, at a press conference in Iloilo City on Friday, October 4, 2019, dismisses 'fake news' related to vaccine, among them about measles vaccine that supposedly lead to autism. Leo Solinap © Leo Solinap Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, at a press conference in Iloilo City on Friday, October 4, 2019, dismisses 'fake news' related to vaccine, among them about measles vaccine that supposedly lead to autism. Leo Solinap

Former Health Secretary and Iloilo Representative Janette Garin on Monday denounced the draft order prohibiting some companies from purchasing their own COVID-19 vaccines for their employees.

"It shouldn't even be considered. We're talking about public health here. Draft or not, we should be inclusive to achieve herd immunity," Garin said in a press statement.

Garin stressed that it is a "mortal sin" to add injury to the country that continues to struggle in preventing the spread of the virus. At the same time, she questioned who was behind this draft order.

"Who is manipulating the department? Who is controlling [DOH Secretary Francisco] Duque?” Garin said.

According to the supposed draft order, the Department of Health and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 will review all requests of private firms to procure vaccines “to ensure that private entities who will be part of the agreement are not in any way related to the tobacco industry, products covered under EO 51 series of 1986 or the 'National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplement and Other Related Products' or other products in conflict with public health.”

The document was referring to manufacturers of tobacco, milk, sugar, soft drinks, and liquor, as well as multinational companies.

Other lawmakers had criticized the said draft administrative order.

Garin said there could be some anti-vaxxers -- or people who disagree with the use of vaccines -- in the government's inoculation program who intend to "ruin and demonize" vaccines in the guise of being anti-tobacco and anti-liquor.

She said the national government should welcome all contributions to the national vaccination program to inoculate the majority of Filipinos at the soonest possible time in order to achieve herd immunity.

“I pose a challenge to those behind this. Ngayong pandemya, kaya niyo bang buhayin mga pamilya nila? Kaya niyo ba silang pagkagastusan sa gitna ng hirap ng buhay? Are you willing to give your whole salary to them so they may subsist everyday?” Garin said.

(Now that there's a pandemic, can you support the livelihood of these families?)

"Importante para sa ating mga kababayan na kumita. Pati ba naman kung saan sila nagtatrabaho ay gagawing hadlang sa kanilang hinaing na maging ligtas mula sa COVID?" she added.

(It is important for our fellow Filipinos to earn money. Why is it that even in their work places, they are being prevented from being safe from COVID-19?)

The lawmaker urged the national government to focus on the problem at hand, which is the spike of the number of COVID-19 infections in the past few weeks. —KBK, GMA News

This article Garin: Draft order vs. firms purchasing COVID-19 vaccines 'shouldn't even be considered' was originally published in GMA News Online.

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