The provincial government of Palawan is confident of undertaking a province-wide free vaccination by February in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), stating that it is already prepared for a rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines being negotiated by the national government.
Provincial spokesperson Winston Arzaga told Palawan News the local administration is “fully ready” for a vaccination program and will be awaiting the initiative of the IATF. He also pointed out that the province has strengthened its medical capacity with the establishment of seven operating hospitals in various parts of the province and the recruitment of some 127 doctors that can help in the vaccination program.
Health care workers are also undergoing training for the vaccination, Arzaga said, while other documents will be submitted to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. for approval and implementation.
“May mga preparations naman yan, hindi lang basta tuturok. May mga ilan lang mga documents kasi na kailangan, by February siguro ay ayos na. Isu-submit na natin kay Secretary Galves,” he said.
Arzaga clarified that choosing the vaccine would depend on the national government and assured that it would be well distributed free to all Palaweños.
“Depende sa national government kung anong vaccine, basta lahat ay mabibigyan. Baka ang Palawan ay isa sa mga magkakaroon ng vaccine dahil ready tayo. Ang sigurado doon ay lahat mabibigyan ng bakuna at libre ‘yan,” he said.
He said that Palawan will ask for vaccines from the national government, but also has a funding allocation of P5 billion to buy if necessary.
“Kung kailangan talaga na bumili ay mayroon tayong P5 billion para dito pero ang sabi nga ni gob hindi tayo bibili kung bibigyan tayo kasi baka nga tayo pa lang ang probinsya na ganito ka handa at napakaraming ospital,” Arzaga said.