Local government units (LGUs) will either get a reward or be sanctioned based on the pace of their vaccination program, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez said.
Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, NTF head of strategic communications on current operations, welcomed the arrival of another 866,970 doses of Pfizer vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City late Saturday.
“We will incentivize LGUs with high accomplishments and give sanctions to those underperforming, especially in the distribution and administration of these life-saving doses,” Galvez, who also the country’s vaccine czar, said in a news release.
Galvez reiterated the government’s call for LGUs to further scale up their vaccination drives, noting that full protection of most vulnerable sectors must be their top priority.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has previously issued an order directing LGUs to utilize vaccines in the “most expeditious manner” upon receipt of jab deliveries.
LGUs are also ordered to regularly monitor their vaccine inventories to avoid possible vaccine wastage, he added.
To address the vaccine hesitancy issues, Galvez said the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) is set to issue a memorandum discussing rewards and sanctions that LGUs could get based on their vaccine handling and administration efforts.
Galvez said the NTF is encouraging LGUs to craft their own local ordinances that will support the nationwide call for a “no vaccine preference policy” so that all stockpiled jabs will be used up prior to expiration.
“This will be a preview, as we push for mandatory vaccination, especially of those who are highly vulnerable and residents who live in high-density populations,” he said.
Galvez cited the LGUs’ vital roles in boosting the public uptake of Covid-19 vaccines, regardless of the brand. He reiterated his support for mandatory vaccination in the country.
The newly delivered shipment, which is part of the 1.7 million government-procured doses initially delivered on Friday, brought the country’s total received vaccines to 110.646 million doses.
Mayor was joined by John Groch, counselor for public affairs of the US Embassy in Manila, and Department of Health Director Ariel Valencia during the arrival ceremony.