DoH seeks Covid-19 Act amendment

The Department of Health (DoH) on Friday sought to amend Republic Act (RA) 11525, or the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, before deciding whether to lift or extend the state of calamity declared due to the virus.

On Thursday, Malacañang said it would be the DoH’s call whether to extend or not the state of calamity that went into effect on 16 March 2020.

DoH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the law must be amended before the government decides whether to extend the declaration of the state of calamity due to Covid-19, which is set to lapse on 12 September.

“We recommended to the President to amend RA 11525 before deciding whether to lift or not lift the state of calamity,” Vergeire told reporters.

Specifically, provisions requiring the issuance of an emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines and the provision of tax exemptions for vaccine manufacturers and donors were identified by Vergeire as in need of amending.

She noted that also anchored on the law are provisions like price caps on medicines used for Covid-19 treatment, and the additional benefits for healthcare workers that would be affected by the absence of a state of calamity policy.

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