All provinces in the MIMAROPA region except Palawan have come up with their respective COVID-19 vaccination plans in anticipation of the vaccine rollout and have turned them over to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

This was pointed out Friday by DILG regional director Wilhelm Suyco during an online press briefing.

“We have 32 municipalities and two cities na mayroong vaccination plan out of 78 local government units. And of the five provinces, as of January 19, all have turned in their vaccination plans except for Palawan,” Suyko said.

He added however that they are expecting the province to catch up with its own vaccination plan.

“Hindi natin sinasabi na ayaw nila gumawa ng plan. Maybe mayroon silang preparation, pero baka hindi pa kumpleto. They are preparing, but maybe they haven’t completed the requirements,” Suyko added.

DOH regional director Dr. Mario Baquilod said however that he was just informed that Palawan submitted a micro plan on Thursday but he still needs to verify it.

“I just talked with PHO Dr. Labrador asking her about plans. Kasi ang DOH we are requesting the LGUs to submit their micro plan para magkaroon ng consolidation to become a regional plan. Kanina, I was informed na kahapon [Thursday] nag-submit na sila ng micro plan. Now, we are double-checking kung talaga bang na-receive na namin ‘yong micro plan,” Dr. Baquilod said during the press briefing.

The provincial information office, meanwhile, also released a statement Friday saying that its vaccination plan is still under “micro-level planning” and nearing completion.

“Currently, nasa stage tayo ng micro-planning, which includes ‘yong pag-a-assess natin ng vaccination sites, pag-assess ng number of frontliners or vaccinators, and ‘yong mga equipment na kailangan katulad ng availability ng cold-chain storage, hospitals and ‘yong ating number of staff para mag-vaccinate sa ating mga kababayan,” PHO chief Dr. Faye Erika Labrador said in a statement.

Labrador added that around 750 provincial health workers have already undergone vaccination trainings and an additional 12,000 municipal health workers, nurses, volunteer health workers, and even barangay tanods have also been trained for the upcoming vaccination rollout program.

She pointed out that under their plan, the vaccination will prioritize Palawan’s vulnerable population.

“Kapag nasimulan ang vaccination, ang uunahin natin ang 18-59 years old, iyong vulnerable population like medical health workers, frontliners, indigent, at uniformed personnel,” Labrador said.

Labrador acknowledged that the province, unlike several other LGUs including Puerto Princesa City, is not actively pursuing direct negotiations with any vaccine supplier but has the funds needed if necessary.

“We have available funds if kailangan natin mag-procure. Pero sabi ni Gob,  bakit bibili kung may ibibigay naman sa atin ang gobyerno? At kung magkulang ang vaccines, handa tayong mag-procure,” she said.