LGUs allot funds for COVID-19 vaccine procurement
The different local governments in the country have allotted funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents.
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Monday said its local government would allot P150 million for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine.
Gatchalian told GMA News Online that the vaccine would be free for the city residents.
Pasig City, on the other hand, has earmarked at least P300 million to procure the vaccines and inoculate residents of the area, with medical frontliners and senior citizens to be prioritized.
During the Laging Handa briefing on Monday, Pasig City Mayor Victor Ma. Regis "Vico" Sotto said the local government is now coordinating with other government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
"Nag-allot din tayo, naglaan din tayo ng pondo dito sa Pasig—at the very least P300 million, ito po 'yung nakalaan na, pero madali naman po, kaya natin dagdagan 'to kung may available na supplies at may mabibili pa ang lokal na pamahalaan," he said.
"Ang uunahin natin 'yung medical frontliners. Ito po ang pinakaimportante sa lahat. Alam naman po natin hindi tayo makakabili ng dalawang milyong dose para sa lahat pero medical frontliners unahin po natin para makapagtrabaho po sila ng maayos," added Sotto.
Sotto said that senior citizens will be prioritized next, and the city will move forward with other Pasig residents from there.
Earlier in the day, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay said a total of P1 billion has been allocated by the city government for the purchase of the vaccine which, she said, will also be free for Makati residents.
Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco said his city has allotted P20 million for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine but the amount can still be increased.
“Sa 2021 budget, P20M can be increased subject to the final allocation of the national government for Navotas,” he said in a text message to GMA News Online.
“It will be a combination of vaccine, kung ano ang mabibili ay bilhin na para ang vaccination program ay masimulan na,” he added.
On New Year’s Day, Manila launched a pre-registration portal for the free COVID-19 vaccination for the city’s residents.
In a Facebook post, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso told his constituents to “reserve your slots and pre-register now” at www.manilacovid19vaccine.com.
“Good morning Manila! Bagong taon Bagong Pagasa! Samahan nyo po kami na maghanda sa inaasahan bakuna sa mga darating na huwan ng 2021,” Domagoso said.
“Daig ng maagap ang masipag. Please share this info to your family and friends,” he said.
In San Juan City, Mayor Francis Zamora announced that the local government has set aside P50 million for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for its residents.
“Meron pong allocation na ibibigay sa ’tin ang national government at meron din po tayong sariling pondo natin sa lokal na pamahalaan na nagkakahalagang P50 million para bumili ng ating sariling bakuna,” he said in a Facebook live.
The San Juan government also launched an online form where residents can pre-register for a vaccine.
Mga minamahal kong mga San Juaneño, nais mo bang magpabakuna kontra COVID-19? Ang Pamahalaang Lungsod ng San Juan ay...Posted by Mayor Francis Zamora on Sunday, January 3, 2021
In Caloocan, Mayor Oscar Malapitan said the city government provided an initial allotment of P125 million for COVID-19 vaccines for residents.
Caloocan will also loan P1 billion to augment its P125-million vaccine fund.
According to Tina Panganiban Perez’ “24 Oras” report on Monday, Quezon City has allotted P1 billion for the initial procurement of vaccines as well as personal protective equipment, syringes, and other similar items.
“We have been actively working on securing vaccines for our residents, particularly the vulnerable sectors, and preparing logistics,” Mayor Joy Belmonte vowed.
Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III said the local government’s initial allotment for COVID-19 vaccines was P20 million.
“If this is insufficient, depending on the extent of the assistance, we could get [funds] from the national government,” he added.
Muntinlupa has set aside P170 million for COVID-19 vaccines. The city council will also hold a hearing next week to work out the list of vaccine recipients and logistical concerns.
The city government of Malabon has provided an initial allocation of P150 million for COVID-19 vaccines, according to its Public Information Office.
In Mandaluyong, P200 million was set aside for vaccines, cold storage, and other logistical needs. The city government said it would launch an online registration site for residents in February.
Parañaque residents will also receive shots for free after Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the local government allotted P250 million for vaccines.
“Matagal na tayong nakipag-ugnayan sa pamamagitan ng pagsulat sa pharmaceutical companies para masiguro na makakakuha tayo ng bakuna tulad ng Pfizer at AstraZeneca, subalit hihintayin pa rin natin kung anuman ang aprubadong bakuna mula sa Food and Drug Administration at ng national government," Malapitan said.
PONDO PARA SA BAKUNA KONTRA COVID-19, NAKAHANDA NA --MAYOR OCA MALAPITAN Tiniyak ni Mayor Oca Malapitan na...Posted by Mayor Oscar "OCA" Malapitan on Monday, January 4, 2021
Outside Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron said they will allocate P227 million for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines. He said they are targeting to get P500 million worth to inoculate 70% of their population.
“We are targeting P500 million, kaya nating hanapin ‘yung P500 million. Itong quarter na ito ine-evaluate na ang lahat ng napondohan, baka may pwedeng ‘wag na muna kasi kailangan natin ng P500 million. Bakit P500 million? Kasi ang target natin ay 70% of the population,” Bayron said during the flag ceremony.
The Department of Health urged the local government to work with them as only the national government can procure COVID-19 vaccines that will be issued emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Pinag-uusapan na ito sa IATF. We are calling on local governments to work with us so we can pool funds for procurement of effective vaccines. Kinakausap na po natin ang local governemnt units para hindi po magkaroon ng technicalities [in procuring vaccines] and we can monitor it as well,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
Malacañang, meanwhile, welcomed the initiative of the different LGUs.
“Lahat po ng mga transaksiyon sa mga manufacturers will be government-to-government. So wala naman pong mau-order na independent doon sa mga orders na gagawin po ni vaccine czar Secretary [Carlito] Galvez,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
“So let’s just say we welcome the contribution of the LGUs kasi ibig sabihin mas marami tayong budget para bumili ng vaccine at hindi lang iyong manggagaling sa pondo ng national government,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte last month claimed that a number of Filipinos — including members of the military, particularly the Presidential Security Group — already had themselves inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, even without approval from the FDA.
The FDA—also investigating the issue—has since clarified that there is still no vaccine approved for general use in the Philippines, and it has not yet given licenses to any distributor and dispense the vaccine.
For its part, the Bureau of Customs said it did not receive any formal communication on the importation of COVID-19 vaccines administered to the PSG, and administrative and civil cases could be filed to those involved should the medicines be proven smuggled.— with Virgil Lopez/Julia Mari Ornedo/AOL/RSJ/BM, GMA News