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P200-M supplemental budget for COVID-19 vaccines in Manila approved — Isko Moreno

A supplemental budget amounting to P200 million for the procurement of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in Manila has been approved, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko" Moreno announced Thursday.

According to Moreno, who signed Ordinance No. 8659 on Thursday, there is no need to wait for the 2021 budget should the vaccine become available this year.

"It turns out that the Manila City government already has available funds worth P200 million for the IMMEDIATE PROCUREMENT of COVID-19 vaccines for all Manileños should it become available this year,” Moreno said in a tweet.

"No need to wait for [the] 2021 budget if [a] vaccine is available this year,” he added.



On July 15, leading US-based coronavirus vaccine research developer Moderna Inc. announced that it would start the final stage of human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine on July 27.

On Wednesday, the company started talks with several countries for supply agreements for its experimental coronavirus vaccine. It has said the vaccine could be ready for widespread use by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said he has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow the Philippines to be one of the first to access a COVID-19 vaccine China may produce.

The Philippines on Thursday overtook Indonesia as the hotspot of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Southeast Asia after the Department of Health (DOH) announced 3,561 new cases, raising the total to 119,460.

Indonesia has logged 116,871 infections as of Wednesday with an average of 1,850 new infections reported daily in the past seven days.  — RSJ, GMA News