Lower income LGUs won’t be left out of vaccine program

January 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Lower-income local government units (LGUs) will not be left out of the government’s vaccination program, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said yesterday.

Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesman, said that the National Vaccination Plan will cover all small and large LGUs nationwide.

“As to the smaller LGUs who do not have funds for vaccine procurement, the national government will ensure that all those in the priority list are vaccinated all over the country,” Malaya said in a message.

The vaccine priority list includes health workers, senior citizens and frontline workers.

The DILG said it welcomes how more and more LGUs, mostly highly urbanized cities, are allotting local budgets to procure vaccines for their constituents.

“We are glad that the larger and richer LGUs have taken the initiative to augment the efforts of the national government,” Malaya said.

LGU-led procurement can augment supply to ensure that more constituents can be vaccinated for free, he added.

The DILG is already gathering reports on how many LGUs have plans to procure their own COVID-19 vaccines through a tripartite agreement with the national government and pharmaceutical companies.

“It depends on how soon our regional offices can submit reports. Hopefully next week,” Malaya said.

The DILG has directed all LGUs to craft their respective local roadmap and implementation plans, the first step of which is organizing the incident command structure with a dedicated arm for vaccination.

The plan will be guided by a technical working group under the office of the mayor.

Local health offices have been directed to determine the eligible population for vaccination in their areas and estimate vaccine requirements, as well as plan out human resources, logistics and implementing units.

“The LGUs must develop their distribution plan appropriate for their situation which will then be gathered by the task force for a comprehensive national chain and logistics plan for COVID-19 vaccination,” the DILG added.

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