The Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) the government made with American firm Pfizer did not include provisions for COVID-19 vaccine supply, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified Friday.
Vergeire answered questions concerning Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, Jr. and Senator Panfilo Lacson’s claims that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III allegedly failed to act on the CDA on time. The said mistake, they said, cost the Philippines early access to 10 million COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer.
“Iyong pag-uusap sa CDA, initial negotiation iyon between the government and Pfizer para makita natin ang mga dokumento at mapag-aralan natin ang profile nila. Wala pa sa stage na magkakaroon tayo ng ganitong doses by this time,” Vergeire said in an interview on Unang Balita.
(The talks with the CDA, that is an initial negotiation between the government and Pfizer so that we can see the documents and we can study their profile. It is not yet on the stage that we will have such doses by this time.)
“Pinag-uusapan [roon sa CDA] kung paano nila maibibigay ang impormasyon nila para mapag-aralan ng Philippine government,” she added.
CDA with Pfizer has no provision for vaccine supply – DOH
(The CDA talks about how they can provide their information for the Philippine government to study.)
Vergeire insisted the health department’s action in securing the CDA with Pfizer is timely.
“Before we can sign it, pinag-aaralan ito ng mga abogado. At hindi lang DOH ang kausap rito, andiyan rin ang Department of Science and Technology at Office of the Executive Secretary. We were are able to process it according to the processes of government,” Vergeire said.
In an interview with ANC, Duque said the confidentiality disclosure agreement (CDA) with Pfizer was supposed to be signed by the Office of President (OP) and not by the Department of Health (DOH). He said Pfizer wanted OP, through the Executive Secretary (ES), to sign the CDA.
Duque said the DOH could sign the CDA on behalf of the whole government, noting this is why the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had signed the document separately.
DOST and Galvez signed the CDA in November, while Duque signed on October 20.