By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum allowing local government units (LGUs) to make advance payments for the purchase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.
In a virtual presser, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go had told him that the President already signed the memorandum order (MO).
“Sinabi po ni Senator Bong Go na napirmahan na po (Senator Bong Go said it was already signed),” Galvez said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, at the same virtual press briefing, said Duterte signed the MO today.
Under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, government agencies are allowed to make advance payments of up to 15 percent of the contract, provided that the transactions are secured by an irrevocable letter of credit or bank guarantee.
The memorandum, Roque said, would enable LGUs to secure Covid-19 vaccines with advance payments of up to 50 percent.
“Dahil po dito sa MO na ito ay makakabayad na po ng ng advance payment ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na bumili ng kanilang bakuna (Because of this MO, local governments would be able to make advance payments for the procurement of vaccines),” Roque said.
He said the copy of the memorandum would be made public, once the Palace receives a copy of it.
This developed after the Senate and the House of Representatives have filed similar measures authorizing LGUs to make advance payment not exceeding 50 percent of the contract amount for the purchase of Covid-19 drugs and vaccines.
At present, LGUs may procure Covid-19 vaccines through tripartite agreements with the national government and vaccine manufacturers.
The Philippines aims to inoculate around 50 million to 70 million Filipinos this year. (PNA)