The Presidential adviser attributed all the efforts to bilyonaryo Teresita Sy-Coson for brokering the deal for the Philippines’ first-ever secured supply of vaccine doses.
“Earlier on, it wasn’t me who talked to Astra first. It was Tessie Coson because they were in early discussions. She just asked my help to widen the base of private sector participation,” Concepcion admitted during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum of journalist Marichu Villanueva.
SM Group is one of more than 30 big businesses that pitched in a cumulative P600 million donation to buy coronavirus vaccines, half of which will be turned over for the use of the Department of Health. The rest will be distributed among private partners.
Sy-Coson’s idea, Concepcion said, was to ensure the availability of vaccines for Filipinos by beating the red tape which would most likely delay government procurement.
“There are risks that come with it because if something goes wrong with the vaccine, you may lose part of your deposit,” Concepcion added. “We cannot take a risk using people’s money for efforts like this… The private sector is taking the risk.”