Lawyer-councilor Herbert S. Dilig, author of Ordinance No. 1079

The city government of Puerto Princesa has enacted a local law ensuring the readiness of the local government to procure vaccines for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) once they become available.

Lawyer-councilor Herbert S. Dilig, author of Ordinance No. 1079, in a phone interview on Tuesday, said that indigent residents of Puerto Princesa will be prioritized when there are already COVID-19 vaccines.

“Ang ordinansang ito ay ang magbibigay ng libreng COVID-19 vaccines sa mga indigent residents ng Puerto Princesa City. Ang lead na administrator ng program ay City Health Office (CHO),” Dilig said.

Approved on September 25 by city mayor Lucilo Bayron, the beneficiaries of the free vaccination program would be screened by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and City Planning Office (CPO).

The funds would be drawn from the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) drugs and medicines allocation of the public health emergency response for COVID-19 pandemic programs appropriated through Ordinance No. 32-2020.

The House of Representatives passed on its third and final reading the 2021 General Appropriations Bill on October 16 which only allotted P2.5 billion for the COVID-19 vaccines in the 2021 national budget.

“I think there were only around P2.5 billion that was allotted for that, which actually would just comprise about 3% of the population,” House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said in a statement.

(With a report from Ruth Rodriguez)