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LGUs must coordinate vaccine plans with nat’l gov’t

Eduardo Ano
Secretary Eduardo Año

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday clarified that the procurement and roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine must be coordinated with the national government through the national task force and the Department of Health in a tripartite agreement involving local governments and pharmaceutical companies.

According to Secretary Eduardo Año, the proper procedure must be followed to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure standardized pricing.

Año commended the local government units (LGUs) for earmarking funds from their budget for the additional acquisition of the vaccines.

It is the national government, he added, that will take the lead as the main procurer to ensure that the necessary monitoring and proper allocation is done across the country.

The President has approved the tripartite approach in LGU procurement and that all LGUs planning vaccine procurement are urged to coordinate with Vaccine Czar Charlie Galvez.

“We thank the LGUs for augmenting the efforts of the National Government. We are on track to purchase some 184 million doses from several manufacturers and the procurement by LGUs will be a big help to inoculate more people,” the DILG chief said.

It has been agreed that LGUs can do initial negotiations with pharmaceutical companies but the agreement must be tripartite among the national government, the local government, and the pharmaceutical company involved.

Año said this will ensure that the standards set by the IATF, WHO, and DOH are met.

He said that this set-up will also guarantee that the prices of COVID-19 vaccines are standardized and that there will be no duplication of vaccinated individuals.

COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and AstraZeneca require two doses to ensure the highest percentage of immunization.

In between these doses of vaccines, Año said that DOH’s role in monitoring will be vital to ensure that the standards and protocols are being followed.

“Ang monitoring na ito ay nakapahalaga, masusing susundan ang mga nabakunahan nang sa gayon ay kung may mga side effects ay naire-record at nado-document ito para ating nasusunod ang mga safety protocols at para na din maibigay ang ikalawang bakuna on time,” he explained.

Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya urged LGUs to ensure that vaccination down to their barangay level will be efficient “for their role in ensuring the success of the National Government vaccine deployment in all fronts is, needless to say, a matter of life and death.”

The government intends to vaccinate some 50-70 million Filipinos this year.

“The DOH will be conducting regional training on the vaccination program this month. All LGUs must actively participate in this very important endeavor,” he said.