10 local governments seal deals to buy vaccines
At least 10 local governments outside of Metro Manila have sealed or about to close deals to directly buy coronavirus vaccines from pharmaceutical companies.
So far, the cities of Baguio, Vigan, Dagupan, Antipolo, Iloilo, Bacolod and Ormoc and the province of Iloilo announced on Monday that they have sealed purchase deals under a tripartite agreement with the pharmaceutical company, the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The deals reached in these areas followed an earlier announcement by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte that the city has secured a commitment from the British-Swedish vaccine maker AstraZeneca for the company to sell vaccines directly to the city government, even as the mayor was still looking for other suppliers that would enable the city to inoculate at least 70 percent of its population of 1.2 million.
Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan province, is also close to sealing a deal for the direct purchase of 200,000 doses of vaccines from a still unnamed maker, while Ilocos Norte province is negotiating with AstraZeneca to buy 120,000 doses.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the deal with AstraZeneca was for doses that would be enough to vaccinate 70 percent of the city’s 350,000 population.
Vigan Mayor Juan Carlo Medina said the vaccine purchase for 100,000 to 120,000 doses, also from AstraZeneca, was signed on Jan. 10.
Dagupan City Mayor Brian Lim said AstraZeneca would set aside 160,000 doses for the city that intends to prioritize the vulnerable sectors, especially the medical front-liners and elderly resident, among its 180,000 residents.
Antipolo City signed its deal with AstraZeneca on Sunday for P300 million worth of vaccines, city information officer Relly Bernardo said on Monday.
In Ilocos Norte, Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc said the 120,000 doses from AstraZeneca would initially vaccinate at least 60,000 residents of the province.
In the Visayas, the province and city of Iloilo, and the cities of Bacolod and Ormoc, all confirmed their separate agreements with AstraZeneca.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. signed on Monday the multilateral agreement with the AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc. represented by its country president Lotis Ramin; the national government represented by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and vaccine czar; and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Iloilo province purchased an initial 270,000 doses of vaccines with a total purchase price of US$1.35 million (P64.9 million).
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas also signed a multilateral agreement with AstraZeneca, Galvez and Duque for 600,000 doses for US$3 million (P144.2 million).
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the city had earmarked P300 million for the vaccine but did not say how much went to AstraZeneca for the purchase signed last week.
On Sunday, Mayor Richard Gomez of Ormoc City also signed electronically their purchase order for the supply of 270,000 vaccines of AstraZeneca.
Elsewhere in the country, among the latest cities that set aside funds for vaccine procurement were Batac (P20 million), Olongapo City (P20 million), Gapan (P150 million), Palayan City (P50 million), Cabanatuan, Biñan (P120-P150 million), Sta. Rosa (P300 million), Cebu (P350 million), Borongan (P35 million), Pagadian (P40 million), Dipolog (P40 million) and Naga in Camarines Sur province (P50 million).
Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion said they would initiate a purchase deal with AstraZeneca, saying it has become the vaccine of choice for most local government in the country due to its low cost. —REPORTS FROM LEONCIO BALBIN JR., VINCENT CABREZA, YOLANDA SOTELO, JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, VILLAMOR VISAYA JR. CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE, JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT, ARMAND GALANG, ROMAR MIRANDA, MARICAR CINCO, REY ANTHONY OSTRIA, NESTOR BURGOS JR., JOEY GABIETA, GERMELINA LACORTE AND LEAH AGONOY INQ
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