After certified as urgent, bill on P1.16-B Dengvaxia fund hurdles House

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading the proposed P1.16-billion medical support fund for students who received the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine. 

With a vote of 231-0-0, lawmakers approved House Bill (HB) No. 7449 on Tuesday night, May 29 at about 10:50 pm.

The legislators gave their nod to the bill roughly 40 minutes after Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas gave reporters a copy of President Rodrigo Duterte’s letter to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stating the bill has been certified as urgent

House appropriations panel chairperson Davao City 1st Disrtict Representative Karlo Nograles had sponsored HB 7449 on 2nd reading on Monday, May 28. The period of sponsorship and interpellation continued on Tuesday afternoon.

But when it was announced at the plenary floor the bill has already been prioritized by the President, lawmakers immediately closed the period of sponsorship and interpellation, and breezed through the period of amendments. 

The legislators voted on the Dengvaxia supplemental fund on 3rd reading soon after.  

The proposed P1.16-billion fund is broken down as follows:

The money will be sourced from the amount returned by vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur to the Philippine government through distributor Zuellig Pharma. 

The P1.16-billion fund will be used to shoulder the medical expenses and monitor the health of more than 870,000 public school students who got the Dengvaxia vaccine through the government’s now-suspended immunization program. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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