Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained on Tuesday, Aug. 24 why certain local government units (LGUs) in the country have a larger stock of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) than others.
This uneven vaccine distribution can be gleaned from the fact that several LGUs, particularly in Metro Manila, have begun to accept the registration of non-residents as far as their vaccination rollout is concerned.
Roque was asked about this distribution quirk during a virtual press briefing Tuesday.
“Well, mahirap pong sagutin iyan, dahil iba-ibang dahilan kung bakit iba-ibang phase ang pagbabakuna (that’s hard to answer because there are varying reasons as to why the vaccinations are in different phases),” he said.
“Pero ang importante pong maintindihan ng taumbayan, kung ikaw po ay LGU na mabagal magpabakuna, hindi rin po ganoon karaming supply ang ibibigay sa inyo. Dahil ibibigay iyan doon sa mga LGUs na mas mabilis gumamit po ng bakuna (But what’s important for the public to understand is, an LGU that is too slow with its vaccination process won’t be given too much in terms of supply. Because that will be given to LGUs that can administer the vaccines faster),” Rqque said.
The Palace official’s remarks are consistent with that of National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who said last July that LGUs found mishandling or wasting vaccines would have their allocations reduced.
Local authorities are strict with the LGUs’ handling of the life-saving jabs because of their sensitive nature–if they’re not kept at a certain low temperature, they spoil. The acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines have also cost the national government a lot of money.
Roque said that as of Aug. 23, a total of 30,693,019 anti-COVID shots have been administered in the country. This has resulted in the full inoculation of 13,197,689 Filipinos.
Metro Manila residents is said to be 43 percent fully vaccinated. The country’s mass vaccination program against COVID-19 began last March 1.