Bacolod mayor opposes loosening of restrictions
BACOLOD CITY –– The mayor of this city appealed to the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (NIATF) to reconsider its position in loosening up quarantine restrictions in February.
“We will be waiting until the end of the month for a response, and we will be adhering to the national law if no response comes from the NIATF,” said Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Secretary Karlo Nograles, national IATF co-chair, said there is a need to balance the economy and health to allow the economy to recover and businesses to rehire workers.
Nograles, who was at the Bacolod Government Center on Monday, said the Philippines began phase three of its national action plan against COVID-19 starting the fourth quarter of 2020 that eases quarantine restrictions to allow the “economy to breathe.”
He said that by mid or late February, the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines would arrive in the Philippines. He, however, did not say how soon they could be delivered to the provinces.
Bacolod is assured of supply over and above what the national government would have because it was among the first to sign an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca, he said.
Leonardia signed an agreement for the advance purchase of 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines for 325,000 Bacolod residents.
The city government is prepared to buy more vaccines if needed.
The vaccines available for the local government units, who signed tripartite agreements with the national government and the pharmaceutical companies, are from AstraZeneca and Moderna.
Local governments that did not sign tripartite agreements for vaccines will get what the national government has.
Edited by LZB
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.