By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya. (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– Most local government units (LGUs) in the country preferred to acquire the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Wednesday.
“So nakakapili po sila (LGUs) kung ano po yung preference (Covid-19 vaccine) nila (They were able to choose their preferred Covid-19 vaccine). As a matter of fact, ang karamihan sa kanila, pinili na ngayon ‘yung AstraZeneca (Most of them now picked AstraZeneca),’’ DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a television interview.
This came after the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 released a list of available Covid-19 jabs in the market.
Some LGUs that have already signed deals with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines are the cities of Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Makati, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Caloocan, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela in Metro Manila; the cities of Antipolo, Baguio, Dagupan, Vigan in Luzon; the cities of Bacolod, Iloilo, and Ormoc in the Visayas and the cities of Davao, Oroquieta and Zamboanga in Mindanao.
Malaya added that the NTF provided substantial data that passed through the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the possible delivery dates of these vaccines.
He added that initially the LGUs were allowed to independently negotiate for the purchase of their vaccines provided that they would coordinate them with the NTF as pharmaceutical firms are prohibited from selling the vaccines directly to the LGUs.
He, meanwhile, assured that the national government is ready to aid LGUs with meager or no enough funds for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines.
“So wala po kailangan ikabahala ang ating mga maliliit at mahihirap ng mga LGU kasi whether or not, meron po silang pambili ng bakuna ay bibilhan po sila ng bakuna ng national government (Smaller and poorer LGUs should not worry about whether they have enough funds to buy these vaccines as the national government can acquire vaccines for them),” he said.
On Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the national government has allotted PHP75 billion worth of coronavirus vaccines for 57 million Filipinos.
Nograles said several LGUs have already allocated funds to buy their own Covid-19 vaccines for their constituents. (PNA)