Mayors appeal to Palace for advance payment authority on COVID-19 vaccines

Published February 16, 2021, 2:38 PM

by Glazyl Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) is appealing to the Office of President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an Executive Order to authorize city mayors to make advance payments for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines contracted by city governments.
This was stated in Resolution No. 2021-01 adopted by LCP during its Special General Assembly on February 4.
Pursuant to Presidential Decree 1445, local government units need an express authorization and issuance from President Duterte such as an Executive Order allowing them to procure vaccines and proceed with the required advance payment market provision in their respective agreements with the pharmaceutical companies.
Thus, the LCP members are seeking the urgent action of the Office of the President to issue the necessary Executive Order at the soonest possible time.
LCP national president and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said they need the intervention of the President to pursue the availment of the vaccines. 
“With his authority to allow advance payment, our local vaccination program can be set in accelerated motion,” Leonardia said.
The LCP, during its Special General Assembly on January 12, which was attended by 114 city mayors, agreed to partner with the national government in implementing the COVID-19 vaccination program.
The League took initiatives in encouraging cities to procure their vaccines to ensure that the target population is vaccinated.
As a result of this initiative and in coordination with the National Task Force on COVID-19, several cities have already entered into tripartite agreements with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company under the “A Dose of Hope” program on January 14.
For Bacolod City alone, the city government is planning to procure 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca amounting to P300 million for its residents.