The Department of Health on Tuesday urged the Senate to pass the bill appropriating P1.16 billion as supplemental budget to aid children vaccinated with Dengvaxia.
Secretary Francisco T. Duque III made the appeal after the Upper House failed to deliberate on the said bill last August 15.
"We are making an appeal in behalf of the children vaccinated with Dengvaxia who are the intended beneficiaries of this supplemental budget. We are urging our honorable senators to pass the Senate version of the bill," Secretary Duque said.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has certified as urgent the bill granting the DOH supplemental budget to finance the medical assistance of the children and other individuals vaccinated with Dengvaxia. The House of Representatives in May approved on third and final reading House Bill 7449, which is the House version of the proposed supplemental budget.
The amount represents the money refunded by Sanofi Pasteur to the DOH for the unused Dengvaxia vaccines returned to them.
"The entire amount of P1.16 billion will be used exclusively to fund efforts to improve the situation of children vaccinated with Dengvaxia," Secretary Duque said.
More than P945.8 million will be allocated for medical assistance program of Dengvaxia vaccinees seeking treatment, either confined at a hospital or outpatient. Around P148.3 million will be spent on assessment and monitoring of Dengvaxia vaccinees and for supplies and medicines. Lastly, around P67.6 million will be used on the deployment of health workers who will follow up on complaints of vaccinees.
"While the Senate version of the bill is still pending, the DOH is stretching its resources to attend to the needs of the vaccinees. We want to inform the Senate that every day that passes is crucial in delivering the best health outcomes for the vaccinees," Secretary Duque pleaded.
"We are hopeful that our senators will listen to our pleas and will approve their version of the bill the soonest possible time," the health chief concluded.