Palawan governor Jose Ch. Alvarez said on Tuesday the provincial government has “enough funds” to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for the province and is prepared to supplement whatever the national government may allocate.
“Wala namang problema sa pambili ng vaccine, marami naman tayong pera. Eh, kaya lang, we have to realign it first, kasi hinihintay natin kung magkano bibilhin ng national, yung kakulangan na lang ang bibilhin natin kung may maaprubahan na tayo,” he said.
Governor Alvarez’ statement was a departure from the pronouncement he made December 23 stating that he will appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the allocation of vaccines.
Meanwhile, he also ordered tight border restrictions in southern Palawan with its open access to Malaysia, particularly Mangsee Island in Balabac that had been a hotspot of Covid infections from persons traveling from nearby Kudat province of Sabah.
On December 23, Malaysian health authorities reported that the new strain was found in one of their patients from Sabah.
“’Yong narinig ko si Pangulo[ng Rodrigo Duterte] doon sa kanyang emergency meeting, tinawagan ko na agad ang ating team. Marami naman tayong mga maliliit na seacraft, eh kako mag-volunteer muna bago mag-New Year, pumunta muna sa dulong isla, ‘yong Mangsee,” he said.
“’Yong mga may passport, puwede namang pumasok. Pero kung wala, hindi talaga puwede,” he added, alluding to the knowledge that some entries to Palawan are unmonitored in the southernmost area of the province.