Again, too late the hero
By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
There is a covid related law requiring the participation of the DOH in the importation of covid vaccines. Presumably, DOH will have to approve the importation. Such approval, like any bureaucratic act in this country, can take forever. Even if it is a matter of life and death.
Realizing the stupidity of that recent law, PDu30 issued an order allowing importation at will by private entities of covid jabs. The stupidity of requiring the approval of the DOH was certainly very clear from the very beginning. For in his country any measure requiring a govern act means red tape galore. And yet Congress passed that law the way it is.
The President’s reversal of that requirement is definitely illegal, in theory. But any act can only be deemed illegal if somebody complains. And the President can always justify it by saying it was an emergency measure. Moreover, who will complain regarding that? He would be ridiculed for defending stupidity. He will be up against the people’s desperate need to have a defense against covid. At other times, in other climes, such people were lynched.
Had that order of the President come earlier, there would be enough vaccines already for the millions of employees of big companies here. That would have contributed significantly towards out quest to attain herd immunity.
But better late than never. In no time a lot of vaccines will be landing on our airports, readily whisked to private corporate clinics, and immediately administered to their employees. You can bet your last centavo that the efficiency of the process will be a thousand times better than how the government is doing it.
We have long ago accepted the fact that how government does things is crudely inefficient. But not all governments.
Right from the start of this pandemic, medical scientists knew that the hope to beat it lies in having effective vaccines. So the first to have such vaccines would have a big advantage. What was our plan? It was to just wait for other countries to come up with vaccines, and then, like beggars, we will be at their mercy. And that was precisely what happened.
What did other effective governments do? Either they made their vaccines by financially supporting their private pharmaceutical companies to come up with such, or they convinced such companies to roll out the required huge investments themselves to come up with the jabs.
An intrepid country, Israel, did it another way. They went to such private manufacturers and contracted them to produce the vaccines they will need. To make sure their orders will be the priority, they paid a premium price. It might have been double the usual price, or even more. So they are one of the first, if not the first, to do away with health protocols and restrictions by virtue of their having achieve mass inoculation.
What we did is quite opposite what Israel did. Our officials fumbled every step of the way in the importation of vaccines. We were some of the last to have agreements with pharmaceutical manufacturers for us to be supplied with jabs. And then, late in the game, we found out that we did not have all the legal requirements to cover or protect the companies from any suit due to side effects of the jabs.
So while everybody was in the finish line regarding deals with the pharmaceutical companies, we were back to square one—in Congress to have it pass a law to protect jab suppliers so they would sell to us.
As always, we were again too late the hero.**