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DOF: P20 billion needed for youth vaccination
“With the announcement that some countries will inoculate teenagers and the expectation that we eventually will follow suit, we are anticipating an additional expenditure of about P20 billion to vaccinate the approximately 15 million kids age 12 to 17,” Dominguez said.
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DOF: P20 billion needed for youth vaccination

Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - May 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It will cost the government P20 billion to procure additional COVID-19 vaccines needed to inoculate minors aged 12 to 17, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said yesterday.

“With the announcement that some countries will inoculate teenagers and the expectation that we eventually will follow suit, we are anticipating an additional expenditure of about P20 billion to vaccinate the approximately 15 million kids age 12 to 17,” Dominguez said.

In total, the government will need to raise P55 billion more to purchase booster shots next year for 70 million adults and vaccines for 15 million teenagers in the expanded vaccination program.

To cover this added expense, government may use the savings from the 2020 national budget, according to the Department of Finance.

“As we are also anticipating acquiring booster shots for next year for about 85 million teenagers and adults, we will be needing another P55 billion. To fund these but still maintaining an acceptable fiscal deficit, we most likely will need to reallocate funds,” Dominguez said, noting that the amount to be raised from savings is “still to be determined.”

On Wednesday, President Duterte issued Administrative Order 41 directing agencies to report to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) with 15 day-portions of their 2020 budgets that may be declared as savings.

Upon receipt of the reports from agencies, DBM will recommend to the President the amount that can be declared as savings, as well as existing appropriations that need to be augmented like subsidies for low-income households and displaced workers.

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said DBM would likely issue today the corresponding memorandum to agencies for the declaration of their savings.

Grab Philippines launched yesterday its GrabBayanihan Vaccination Support Program that will focus on vaccine access and education.

Under the program, Grab Philippines said it would cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations for all its employees and their immediate family members, as well as subsidize the vaccination of driver- and delivery-partners not covered by the national vaccination program.

The company will also provide a specialized car fleet providing discounted rides for senior citizens and high-risk Filipinos going to and from vaccination centers.

“Through Grab Philippines’ technology, platform and partnerships, we are reinforcing our commitment to supporting livelihoods and helping the recovery of our communities,” Grab Philippines country head Grace Vera Cruz said. – Richmond Mercurio

COVID-19 VACCINE
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