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NGCP to lawmakers: let private firms buy COVID-19 vaccine

THE HEAD of power grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has appealed to lawmakers to allow the private sector to import tax-free doses of the vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for employees.

“Vaccination, as well as mass testing, is focally critical in the fight against COVID-19.  We need to prevent, detect, isolate, and treat. We need to jumpstart the economy now, but we need to ensure that we stack the odds against infections in the workplace,” said NGCP President and Chief Executive Anthony L. Almeda in a statement on Wednesday.

He said letting private companies bring in the vaccine would enable businesses to give the economy a needed boost.

“With a vaccination program in place for the private sector, more businesses and industries will be able to regain some semblance of normal activity, bounce back, and put the economy on its way to recovery after almost a year of slow down,” Mr. Almeda said.

Privately owned NGCP, which placed its workforce at 5,000, said it continues to monitor the progress and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in other countries. It said it was also assessing the possibility of providing its employees with the necessary doses as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

“We encourage our counterparts in both the public and private sectors, to be similarly proactive in protecting their employees, so that we can keep the economy running at full speed,” Mr. Almeda said.

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