DILG taps PNP, BFP in delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to provinces
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to work closely with the Department of Health (DOH) and coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to ensure the speedy delivery of vaccines to the provinces.
In his Talk to the People public address that aired Tuesday morning, President Rodrigo Duterte issued a directive to the DILG to supervise the transport of COVID-19 vaccines to various parts of the country.
“Given the President’s directive, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the vaccines reach local governments as quickly as possible in good condition and that these vaccines are immediately utilized for inoculation,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to Año, the fast delivery of vaccines is critical to the goal of achieving 4 million jabs by the end of June.
“I’ve directed the PNP to secure these vaccines every step of the way and to ensure its fast delivery,” he said.
“In NCR, we strive to reach 120,000 jabs a day. This May our target is 2M vaccinations. This June, our target is 4M vaccinations, so we really need not only to ramp up the vaccination efforts in LGUs, but also to ensure that more vaccines reach more provinces to meet our overall target,” he added.
He noted that the DILG will closely monitor the vaccination performance of LGUs and will call the attention of those who are lagging behind.
“In coordination with the DOH, we will closely monitor the performance of the LGUs and we will require daily reports from them to ensure that they are meeting their targets,” he said.
Meanwhile, Año urged all LGUs to “strictly observe” vaccine monitoring measures in storing COVID-19 vaccines to prevent incidents of wastage following the incident in Makilala, Cotabato last week where 348 doses of Sinovac vaccine were kept in a freezer without electricity for more than two days.
The DILG chief added that LGUs need to report on the transportation mechanism for the vaccines and monitor if the transportation is compliant with the requisite safe-handling of the vaccines following another incident wherein two boxes of COVID-19 vaccines bound for Polillo Island in Quezon Province were nearly wasted after the boat carrying them capsized after hitting a partly submerged concrete post.
“We cannot afford to waste any COVID-19 vaccine, given how precious these are, so I am counting on our PNP and BFP personnel to assist our LGUs in the safe and fast delivery of vaccines in various parts of the country,” he said.
Año also reminded LGUs to develop a firm workflow for particular vaccine requirements from storage to transport and administration to ensure the smooth management of COVID-19 vaccines.
“In our goal to achieve herd immunity by the end of this year, we must ensure that every step in the vaccination process is properly executed,” he said.
According to the DILG, as of last Monday, 7,149,020 out of 7,779,050 COVID-19 vaccine doses were already deployed to vaccination centers nationwide.
“Of these, 3,001,875 vaccine doses have been administered; 2,282,273 were given as a first dose while 719,602 doses were used for the second dose.” the DILG added.
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