The government is negotiating with multilateral partners for assistance on procurement support and proper distribution, among others, of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID) vaccines once these become available.
Carlos Dominguez, Department of Finance secretary, said the Philippines will tap the technical assistance facility offered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that seeks to help its developing members access vaccines for COVID-19.
“Yes, a quick and efficient system on the sourcing, procurement, distribution and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines is integral to the economy’s recovery,” Dominguez said in a Viber group with reporters Tuesday evening.
“Aside from potential financing, we are currently in negotiations with multilateral partners to tap technical assistance for transaction advisory, procurement support, distribution and logistics support, and post vaccination monitoring,” he added.
The ADB said last Tuesday it has allocated $20.3 million in technical assistance funds that will be available for developing members to support vaccine-related health system assessments and the development of country readiness plans to strengthen the capacity to access, introduce, deploy, deliver and monitor vaccines safely and effectively.
Funds will help members assess and strengthen vaccine cold chain and logistics, infection control, supply and skills of health workers, risk communications, and real-time data capturing and monitoring, the ADB said.
The technical assistance will also support the identification and promotion of innovative cold chain and vaccine tracking technologies, it added.
Dominguez also said last Tuesday that assuming an effective vaccine will be available by the first half of next year, that should inject a lot of confidence back into the country.
“As a result of that, we do expect a big bounce back in our gross domestic product growth next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a speech yesterday during the briefing on the release of the second semester Financial Stability Report, the finance chief said as the global pandemic continues, it is a must to implement timely and effective monetary and fiscal policies.
“These policies are crucial to the management of evolving systemic risks during this period of general uncertainty. They are also the very tools we are using to build a new and more resilient economy,” Dominguez said.
“Every crisis presents both challenges and opportunities. We will continue to be vigilant against the risks posed by the pandemic while taking advantage of opportunities that will help restore our country’s growth trajectory,” he added.