The city government has a ready fund of PHP200 million for the roll-out of the local coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, in a telephone interview on Wednesday, said they have approved the allocation of the amount as requested by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
“We already have an available fund. We will approve the Ordinance allowing the disbursement during the next regular session on Monday (Jan. 18),” Olowan said.
He said the city can advance the 20 percent payment for the vaccines by the end of March.
The city government will purchase from AstraZeneca as well as from the manufacturer of Sputnik V.
On January 10, the city government, the National Inter Agency Task Force (NIATF), Department of Health (DOH), and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines signed the tripartite agreement for the purchase of a minimum of 190,000 vaccines.
Olowan said the initial request of the city executive department was PHP100 million but they decided to increase the fund allocation to also help the neighboring local governments in their vaccination program.
“Initially, it was PHP100 million but considering the fact that AstraZeneca approved several doses, we okayed to allot PHP200 million so that we can also donate to our neighbors,” he said.
He said the PHP200 million will allow the city to purchase more than 190,000 vaccines for the projected eligible residents who are 17 years old and above, and for donation to neighboring local government units.
Olowan said the city’s purchase will be in addition to what the national government will allot considering that the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has been identified as among the priority areas for the Covid-19 vaccination program.
Magalong earlier announced that aside from the city-funded vaccines, they have listed at least 33,000 doses of vaccines to be provided by big companies operating in Baguio. This includes the 10,000 doses that a multinational company is donating to the city.
The private businesses have committed to double their requirements and give the other half to the city for the less fortunate residents who are not on the priority list. (PNA)