President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a bill seeking to form a compensation fund for Filipinos who experience adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccines, Malacañang said Thursday.
The certification will allow Congress to expedite the bill's passage since lawmakers no longer have to wait for three days before voting on it.
The bill seeks to provide for the formation of an indemnity fund to compensate persons who will receive COVID-19 jabs and would experience serious adverse side effects or even death.
COVID-19 vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said an indemnity fund was needed as a requirement of COVID-19 vaccine makers given that the drugs will be used based on emergency use authorization.
This means that the vaccines are not yet licensed for commercial sale and are only for use during public health emergencies of international concern, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, the Philippines has yet to start its COVID-19 vaccination program which targets to inoculate some 70 million people this year.