Sun. May 16th, 2021
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Officials of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) will meet with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez and representatives of pharmaceutical companies in January to discuss the supply of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines for all 145 cities in the country.

Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, LCP national president, confirmed the scheduled meetings in a memorandum issued to the city mayors dated December 23, where he also announced the creation of the Committee on Vaccine Availment chaired by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

“The committee is requested to meet as soon as possible to discuss ways to facilitate vaccine availment of cities,” he said in the document.

The LCP will hold a dialogue with Galvez on January 12 next year and will also initiate exploratory talks spearheaded by the LCP Secretariat with Pfizer, AztraZeneca and other qualified manufacturers in the first week of January.

In the memorandum, Leonardia said the city mayors need to strategize efforts to ensure that their own constituents have early access to quality and affordable vaccines.

“(We) need to gather as much information as possible to guide our decisions. Proper coordination with concerned agencies is a must. This is, after all, a top priority for all of us,” he added.

The members of the Committee on Vaccine Availment include General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, national vice chairman; Balanga City Mayor Francis Garcia, vice president for Luzon; Candon City Mayor Eric Singson, focal mayor for health; and Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco, regional representative for Region 9.

In a separate memorandum, Leonardia requested the Committee on Vaccine Availment to submit their recommendations to him on or before January 8.

So far, only two local government units in the Philippine have announced local budget allocations to purchase Covid-19 vaccines: Zamboanga City and Pampanga, both of which has allocated at least P200 million for the purpose. SOVEREIGNPH

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