The provincial government said on Saturday that the national government has committed to prioritize vaccine deliveries to Palawan as soon as it receives the bulk of its supply from manufacturers.

In a statement, the Provincial Information Office said that
vaccine czar and head of the national IATF Carlito Galvez, Jr. made the commitment in a letter reply to Governor Jose Alvarez.

A copy of letter sent by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to Palawan governor Jose Alvarez. (Photo courtesy of PIO)

“Nakasaad dito na kasama ang lalawigan sa prayoridad ng national government sa mga mabibigyan ng COVID-19 vaccines. Ito ay matapos nilang matanggap ang ‘COVID-19 Vaccination Ready’ na naglalaman ng Comprehensive Vaccination Masterplan ng lalawigan,” the PIO statement said.

The statement quoted Galvez’ letter to Governor Alvarez dated February 18 stating:

“We would like to assure you that once the major volumes arrive, we will give what is due for Palawan. Walang maiiwan, walang iwanan,” Galvez wrote.

The provine earlier said that cold chain facilities in the province were ready to accept delivery, and that the vaccinators had already completed training.

“Sa ngayon ay nakahanda na ang mga ospital, cold chain storage/facilities at iba pang logistics sakaling dumating na ang COVID-19 Vaccines sa lalawigan. Tapos na rin ang roll-out COVID Vaccination Training ng mga health workers at volunteers na isinagawa ng Department of Health,” the statement added.

Alvarez, in his correspondences to Galvez and tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat dated Febryary 2, informed the top officials that Palawan is “ready to implement” the vaccination plan for COVID-19 among its constituents.

Early February, the Palawan provincial government said it was “very confident” that Palawan will be prioritized by the national government in its distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to local government units and has set aside plans to directly purchase supply from vaccine developers.

Provincial spokesperson Winston Arzaga, in an earlier interview with Palawan News, said that they are expecting that the provincial vaccination program will start by April this year where they plan to prioritize more than 400,000 individuals aging between 18 to 59 years old.

Arzaga said that they are crafting the list of the priority individuals and conducting training for the persons who will involve in vaccination.

“Yan muna for now, mayroon tayong mga kailangan isubmit kay Secretary and by the end of this February ay mayroon na siguro tayong masusubmit na list,” Arzaga added.

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is a desk editor and reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.