Requests of 4 LGUs to purchase COVID-19 vaccines remain unsigned | Inquirer News
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Requests of 4 LGUs to purchase COVID-19 vaccines remain unsigned

/ 09:42 AM August 20, 2021
LGUs vaccination

PENDING APPLICATIONS A medical worker prepares a dose of Sinovac at a 24/7 vaccination center at Holy Trinity Academy in Sampaloc, Manila, on Thursday. Despite efforts to speed up the inoculation drive during the lockdown, additional supply is being delayed by government inaction on the applications of local governments to import vaccines, according to the League of Provinces of the Philippines. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The requests of four local government units (LGUs) for the execution of the tripartite agreement for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines remain unsigned by the national government, League of Provinces of the Philippines president Presbitero Velasco said Friday.

Velasco made the remark in light of calls to look into the still pending deals for the COVID-19 vaccine procurement of local government units and the private sector in the country.

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“There are around four requests for the execution of the tripartite agreement which have not yet been signed by the National Task Force (NTF),” Velasco said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

“Per information from [Department of Health Undersecretary] Myrna Cabotaje, only four requests from the LGUs had not yet been signed. And I suppose the others have already been signed,” he added.

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Velasco said there were several reasons given as to why the requests have not been executed.

“There are some suppliers of vaccines like those of Sinovac, Pfizer, and Sputnik V—if you request for these vaccines, then NTF will not sign the tripartite agreements because they want to prioritize the supply of the national government,” Velasco said.

“And even the suppliers have this policy to prioritize that supply first to the national government because right now there are supply constraints,” he added.

Velasco expressed confidence that the governors “fully understand” these supply and regulatory issues.

“We just had a consultation yesterday with Undersecretary Densing of the [Department of Interior and the Local Government] and DOH Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire and Myrna Cabotaje and I believe that the governors fully understand the situation right now with regard to the availability of the vaccines,” Velasco said.

“They’re fully aware of advantages and disadvantages in trying to negotiate for the purchase of the vaccine,” he added.

Due to these supply and regulatory issues, Velasco said it would be best to “rely on the best judgment of NTF.”

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In the case of private firms that were able to procure vaccines through similar tripartite agreements, Velasco said the requests from the LGUs that remain unsigned are more recently filed.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier asked the upper chamber to look into why the vaccine procurement agreements have been “languishing” at the national government level.

/MUF

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TAGS: COVID-19, LGUs, Local Government Units, vaccine, vaccine procurement
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