Aggressively pushing its vaccine procurement efforts, the city government is eyeing a purchase of some 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine with a manufacturer that it has not yet named.
If the negotiation pushes through, the vaccines will be delivered by second quarter of 2021, City Mayor Lucilo Bayron said Monday morning.
“Gusto raw ng manufacturer ng equal opportunity lahat ng siyudad mahirap o mayaman. Ang sabi sa amin, kung magkakatuluyan tayo ay second semester ng taon na ito,” Bayron said.
Citing its non-disclosure agreement, Bayron declined to name the pharmaceutical company. However, earlier reports confirmed that five manufacturers were identified by the local officials including AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sinovac, Novavax, and Moderna.
Acknowledging the “over budget” of P500 million for its Covac program, Bayron said the excess funds may be re-appropriated, pointing out that it would be better to have the allocation since the local government has yet to finalize the tripartite agreement with the national government and the manufacturer.
The League of Cities of the Philippines has also created a committee for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, its president Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia says in a public briefing on Monday.
The group will talk to eight vaccine makers, Leonardia said.
“We have already the commitments of 61 cities, and that amounts to more than P10 billion. We feel that this is our chance to be contributory to the nat’l effort to vaccinate our people,” Leonardia added.
Puerto Princesa’s Covac program has so far allotted P227 million funds, expecting an additional P273 million next week from budget realignment, to mark the initially discussed P500 million heath program.
The vaccines will be free for city residents.
“Ang vaccine na ito ay libre. Hindi natin sisingilin ang mamamayan natin,” Bayron said. “Sobra sobra ang appropriations natin dahil kung sosobra man ‘yan, pwede naman ‘yan i-appropriate,” he added.