Galvez appeals to public on price disclosure of vaccines

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National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. appealed anew to the public to understand the Philippine government’s position as to why it cannot yet divulge the negotiated prices of the vaccines, as doing so might jeopardize the orders the country has made to inoculate 70 million Filipinos.

“The prices of vaccines that will be purchased are covered by CDA or Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement,  that’s why we cannot divulge otherwise we will lose the 148 million doses of vaccine,” Galvez said partly in Filipino during a press briefing at Malacañang on Monday.

Galvez, who is also the vaccine czar, made the pronouncement following accusations of corruption in the purchase of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Galvez explained that the vaccine negotiations consist of three stages. Each stage concludes with the signing of a document between the government and the vaccine manufacturer, which details the agreed items under each negotiation phase.

These signed documents include the CDA, the term sheet, and the supply agreement.

He said while the term sheet outlines the basic details and general conditions of the agreement, the supply agreement serves as the comprehensive contract that stipulates each party’s deliverables including the exact figures committed by both parties.

The CDA, which is signed during the initial phase of negotiation, protects the interest of both parties. Governments across the globe that have purchased Covid-19 vaccines have also signed CDAs.

According to Galvez, the CDA sets conditions that cannot be violated. Once breached, this may result in the termination of a government’s contract with a particular company and may, consequently, affect the negotiations with other vaccine manufacturers.

These terms include the non-disclosure of information pertaining to the negotiated price and the exact delivery time of the vaccines.

The Philippines is currently negotiating with seven vaccine manufacturers — Novavax, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Astrazeneca, J&J, and Gamaleya — which all require a signed CDA.

“We signed CDA with all manufacturers,” Galvez said.

Multilateral arrangement

The government is procuring all Covid-19 vaccines through multilateral arrangements, wherein funds to be used are loaned from fund managers such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), which have very stringent regulatory requirements, as well as review and approval processes to ensure that all transactions made are above board.

With this kind of arrangement, Galvez said no government official has access to the funds to be used in the procurement as payments for the vaccines will be made directly between the fund manager and the company.

“The ADB and WHO (World Health Organization) are closely monitoring to ensure a clean and proper process,” he said in Filipino. CURRENTPH

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