Senate Finance Committee to hold Public Hearing on Bill to Fund Medical Needs of Dengvaxia VaccineesMay 27, 2018
The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 28, to discuss bills proposing to fund the medical needs of children who were given the Dengvaxia vaccine.
Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Finance Committee and author of the Senate Bill No. 1794, will preside over the hearing on the proposal to appropriate One Billion One Hundred Sixty-One Million Seven Hundred Ten Thousand Pesos (P1,161,710,000) as supplemental appropriations for FY 2018.
“This first public hearing is our first step towards appropriating a sufficient amount to fund the much-needed support for the Dengvaxia vaccinees by providing them with medical assistance for medical-kits, hospitalization, out-patient care services, such as laboratory tests,” Legarda said.
Legarda is hopeful that this medical assistance, once enacted into law, will allay fears of the public, particularly the families of the more than 800,000 children that were administered with this dengue vaccine.
“Dengvaxia was originally intended to help reduce, if not eradicate, the dengue incidents in the country, and it was most unfortunate that the public was not informed of its accompanying risks. Let us earnestly hope that this medical assistance program will not be too late in terms of making sure that we keep our children safe and healthy,” said Legarda.
On demand of the Philippine government, Zuellig Pharma, the local distributor of the Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, refunded the amount of around 1.16 billion pesos covering the unused vials of Dengvaxia vaccines.
Representatives from the following agencies, organizations and alliances have been invited to the hearing on Monday: Department of Budget and Management, Department of Health, Bureau of Treasury, Anak Dengvaxia Victims, United Parents Against Dengvaxia, Dengvaxia Care Organization, Parents Alliance Justice Against Dengvaxia, and Samahan ng mga Magulang Anak ay Biktima ng Dengvaxia.
Similar bills authored by Sen. Richard Gordon (SB 1795) and Sen. JV Ejercito (SB 1769) will also be considered. The hearing will be at 10:00 a.m. at the Senator Padilla Room of the Philippine Senate Building.