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LGUs told to prepare vaccination master plan

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued a memorandum directing local government units (LGUs) to prepare a local vaccination plan that includes a master list of priority eligible vaccinees.

Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that LGUs should coordinate closely with their respective Centers for Health Development as provided in the Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.

Memorandum 2021-007 directs LGUs to come up with a vaccination plan that contains the preparation of risk communication plans and conduct of early Vaccine Communication Campaign to disseminate critical information on COVID-19 vaccination.

Apart from the master list of priority eligibles, the plan must also include identification of possible vaccine centers, available cold chain storages along with other logistical requirements.

A master list of existing human resources and personnel needed in the vaccination program should also be in the plan.

Malaya also said that the reorganization of existing Emergency Operation Centers in LGUs to include a dedicated arm for vaccine concerns; mobilization of barangay personnel and other volunteers to assist in the preparation and actual vaccination; and, the participation of concerned offices and personnel such as LGU health offices, Public Information Offices and Sanitation Offices, among others, must also be part of the plan.

“This COVID-19 vaccination will be the biggest of such program sa ating kasaysayan kaya ating hinihikayat ang mga LGU na ihanda na ang kanilang mga vaccination plan for we need this to be as smooth as possible sapagkat buhay ng ating mga mamamayan ang nakasalalay dito,” he said.

The DILG spokesman also said that LGUs must comply with the guidelines issued by the DOH and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 on matters regarding the vaccination and that they must be in close coordination with the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection for assistance .

Following the tripartite approach in LGU procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, the DILG urged close coordination among local government units (LGUs) and between the LGUs and National Task Force COVID-19 Vaccine Cluster led by Sec. Carlito Galvez.

In the recent meeting between the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), DILG, Department of Health (DOH), and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., all component cities and municipalities with available funds for vaccine procurement are encouraged to coordinate with their provincial governments.

LGUs seeking authorization for emergency use for the purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine must also coordinate with their provincial governments. This is to ensure that there is enough vaccine supply for everyone, he said.

In a recent advisory released by the DILG, the provincial governments are directed to consolidate all purchase requests of their component LGUs and submit these to their respective Regional Task Forces for submission to DOH and the NTF Vaccine Cluster.

“Katulad po ng amin nang nabanggit, napakahalaga po na makiisa ang mga LGU sa tripartite approach sa pagbili nila ng mga bakuna,” Malaya said.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, in an earlier statement, thanked LGUs for their “bold effort to earmark funds from their local budget for COVID-19 vaccines” but the proper procedure must be followed to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure standardized pricing.