Manila Bulletin : Marcos: Government must address syringe supply shortage

16 November 2021

By Manila Bulletin

Presidential aspirant and Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has called on the government to address the syringe supply shortage that threatens to hinder the country’s vaccination program.

The former lawmaker said there is a need to prioritize the use of locally-made syringes as the government is now getting closer to its goal of vaccinating 50 percent of Filipinos before the end of the year.

“Maganda na ang development ng ating pagbabakuna ngunit kung ito ay panandaliang hihinto o babagal dahil sa kakulangan ng supply sa hiringgilya. Nararapat na magawan ito agad ng paraan dahil buhay at kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan ang nakasalalay (The development of our vaccination is doing good but if it suddenly stops or slows down due to shortage of syringe supply. We must do something about it soon because the life and safety of our people are at stake),” Marcos said.

The Department of Health (DoH) said there is a global syringe supply shortage, which prompted the government agency to use an alternative needle. That syringe was intended for tuberculosis patients but is now being used for the mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

The former Ilocos Norte congressman added that it would be best for the government to acquire syringes from local manufacturers instead of allowing local government units (LGUs) to procure it.

Supporting local medical supplies companies according to the former Ilocos Norte governor will create more jobs and help spur economic recovery.

The former senator added that obtaining locally-made syringes will ensure a consistent supply for the country and we will no longer rely on outside sources that may be affected by a global syringe supply shortage.

“Napakahalagang sinusuportahan natin ang sariling atin. Mas makakasiguro pa tayo na darating sa tamang oras ang mga supply na kailangan natin sa pagbabakuna. Ang pagsuporta sa mga local manufacturers ay malaking tulong sa kanila upang makapagbigay sila ng trabaho at dagdag na kita sa ating bansa (It’s important that we support our own. We can also be sure that the supply will arrive on time when it’s needed for our vaccination. Supporting our local manufacturers will be a huge help for them so that we can provide more jobs and extra income for our country),” Marcos said.

The former Lower House solon added that there is a need to establish start-up companies that will help develop local production in the country which currently has three local syringe manufacturers.

According to the National Task Force Against COVID-19 the country has already received 123,258,340 vaccine doses since February this year with 69,713,994 already given.

“Dapat pa nating pag-igihin ang ating programa sa pagbabakuna upang mas maraming sa ating mga kababayan ang mahikayat at tuluyan na tayong makabangon sa pandemyang ito (We must improve our vaccination program so that we can persuade more our people and finally rise up from this pandemic),” Marcos said. (Melvin Sarangay)