CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The city government here has allocated an initial amount of P25 million for the procurement of affordable and approved vaccines for COVID-19 from authorized manufacturers.
City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan said the city is eyeing at least 50,000 people or at least one-third of the city population under the P25 million initial budget for the vaccines.
“It is important that cities start the vaccination as early as possible to end the COVID-19 pandemic so that city residents can return to normal, revive the local economy, and resume the education of the youth that was disrupted by the long quarantine,” Panaligan said. He expressed his support to the proposal of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) that city governments be allowed to procure their own vaccines.
Panaligan said the LCP proposal has been approved by Malacanang but he stressed that LGUs will not be allowed to buy directly from the suppliers.
Under a tripartite arrangement, it is the national government which has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to procure vaccines from manufacturers, the mayor said.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, LCP national president, has formed a committee chaired by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas to negotiate with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), Food and Drug Administration, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local Governments, Department of Health, and Vaccine Czar Gen. Carlito Galvez regarding their proposal.
Panaligan, who is also the secretary-general of LCP, the national organization of cities in the country, said the purpose of LCP in coming up with this proposal is to ensure that cities can start the early vaccination of their constituents against the virus now that there are already clinically tested and approved vaccines being administered in other countries.
“City governments in the country are ready and willing to help the national government by allocating their own funds in the procurement of vaccines,” Panaligan said.