Senate to examine vaccination law effectivity extension

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) -- Senate President Migz Zubiri on Wednesday said the Senate will consider amending the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 or the Vaccination Law to extend its effectivity.

The consideration comes after Health department officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire called for the need to extend the Vaccination Law, which stipulates policies on procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

"It's possible. We will first get the advice from Vergeire kung anong aamyendahan o i-extend [on what should be amended or extended]. Marami sa protocols ay [Many of the protocols are] time-bound. Like the Vaccination Law, Bayanihan 1 and 2, may time limit siya [they have time limits] on during duration of emergency," Zubiri explained.

The Vaccination Law is set to expire on Sept. 12, along with former President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of state of calamity.

"If time-bound, i-extend natin validity ng batas para may kapangyarihan ang Department of Health (DOH) na ituloy ang kanilang mga programa. Titingnan natin," Zubiri added.

[Translation: If time-bound, let's extend the law's validity so that the DOH will have the power to continue their programs. We'll see.]

The Senate is set to meet with DOH officials to discuss amendments to the law in a hearing on Aug. 15, Monday.