LGUs allocate millions of pesos for the purpose

TACLOBAN CITY- Several local government units here in the region  will not wait for the national government to provide them vaccines against coronavirus as they will procure their own.
The city government of Ormoc has allocated a P350 million budget for the purchase of vaccines against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it aimed to inoculate its residents.
While Mayor Richard Gomez said that he wants a 100 percent coverage of the city’s over 240,000 population, the budget might initially cover around 80 percent, citing that “there will be other expenses like syringes, cotton, alcohol, storage, etc.”
“There’s no need (for pre-registration). Our City Health Department already has the priority list ready and everybody on it will be inoculated unless they refuse,” Gomez said.
In Borongan City, Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda said that they have allocated P35 million and target to buy the Astra Zeneca.
“We target 73 percent of our population good for 56,000 persons 18 years and above. We can increase it once a vaccine is available for 17 years old and below. It’s free and voluntary. However, the city is encouraging everyone to inoculate,” Agda said.
Earlier, Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said that the provincial government is readying around P500 million for the procurement of the vaccines and other related items to ensure protection of its people from further spread of the coronavirus disease(COVID-19).
In Northern Samar, the provincial government has set aside P10 million for the same purpose and target around 80 percent of its population to achieve ‘herd immunity,’ Rei Josiah Echano, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
“During our investment fund planning last year, we made sure that here is a provision counterpart for the COVID-19 vaccine (procurement) because we anticipated that the national government can only accommodate a fraction of our population,” Echano said.
With a target of 80 percent to be inoculated, 400,000 people of the province will be receiving the vaccines.
Meantime, the provincial government of Samar has allocated P25 million with the city government of Catbalogan,P20 million and Maasin City, P15 million.
In Biliran province, Governor Rogelio Espina said that they will be allocating P100 million for the purpose of procurement of the vaccines.
“The national government I think may not be able to provide the funds needed to cover the corresponding number of vaccines for our constituents. In order to prepare for this scenario we have allotted P100 million fund for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines through a loan from the Land Bank,” he said on his Facebook post.
According to him, they target 20,000 people across the province who will receive the vaccines.
Espina also urged the eight towns of the province to ‘secure funds’ for the needed vaccines. “This is the only way out in order for us to return to normal life,” he said.
The city government of Tacloban and the provincial government of Leyte have also signified their desire to procure their own supply of vaccines against COVID-19.