Allow LGUs to procure COVID-19 vaccines, solon tells gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — The national government should allow local government units to procure their COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers, Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said Tuesday.
Rodriguez has filed House Resolution No. 1460, where he invoked the constitutional right to health of every Filipino in appealing to allow local government units to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
LGUs should be allowed to import vaccines for their constituents because the national government would only take care of the vaccination of 30% to 50% of the country’s population, he said.
Allowing LGUs and private companies to buy their own vaccine will greatly help the national government in achieving its goal of herd immunity.
“The government’s priority right should be having as many Filipinos as possible vaccinated in order to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, get the economy on the road to recovery, and return the nation to pre-2020 normality,” he said in a statement.
More than 30 provinces and cities have already set aside funds for buying vaccines, with cities Makati, Quezon, And Taguig allocating P1 billion each.
Even small provinces like Biliran and Eastern Samar are raring to procure vaccines with allocations of P100 million and P500 million, respectively, Rodriguez noted.
He also filed a bill to exempt vaccine importation from duties, taxes and other fees.
While the Food and Drug Administration has yet to give its go-signal to the use of any COVID-19 vaccine, many LGUs have already negotiated with vaccine producers for their supply.
National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. told senators that “no company” will directly go to the private sector or LGUs because they are not authorized to do so since “their product is only a EUA (emergency use authorization).”
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director-general Eric Domingo also explained that COVID-19 vaccines being developed are new technologies and should be subject to monitoring by the national government, hence, the need for the private sector and LGUs to coordinate with them.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.