P200 million available to purchase vaccines for Baguio folk

BAGUIO CITY – The local government increased to P200 million the available funds that will be used to procure the needed vaccines to achieve the herd immunity of the city’s population through a mass vaccination.

City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente informed members of the local legislative body that that the city’s local Finance Committee is finalizing the items where the aforesaid funds will be sourced out to support the aforesaid appropriation to ensure the availability of funds to procure the vaccines for over 190,000 city residents who will be qualified to be given the vaccine.

She stated that by next week, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong will be transmitting to the local legislative body the request to realign some of unused appropriations over the past several years and to appropriate the same purposely for the purchase of the needed vaccines for city residents to achieve the desired herd immunity.

Earlier, the mayor announced that the city intends to earmark some P100 million for the purchase of the available vaccines for city residents as the city’s contribution to the overall efforts of the national and other local governments in the country to ensure herd immunity among the populace.

However, he claimed that the initial amount is only good for some 200,000 does of the vaccine, thus, the need for the city to increase the available funds for the purpose to achieve the provision of 23 doses to the people that will be vaccinated under the mass vaccination program.

The city already entered into a non-disclosure agreement with Astra Zenica to provide the needed supply of vaccines for the city residents to ensure that the city’s population will achieve the projected her immunity to help in achieving normalcy in the peoples lives which had been heavily impacted by the prevailing various levels of community quarantine to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Aside from the vaccines that will be purchased by the local government, Baguio City will also be getting its share from the vaccines that will be procured by the national government through the National Vaccine Committee being a priority area for vaccination as one of the highly urbanized cities in the country pursuant to the guidelines crafted for the said purpose.

Further, some 3 companies in the city also committed to provide some 33,000 vaccines as part of the commitment of the private sector to donate at least 50 percent of their vaccine requirements to the local government.

The city is also awaiting the commitment of other operating companies on their vaccine donations to the local government that will ensure the sufficient supply of vaccines for the city’s population to help in reviving the local economy with the projected normalcy in the activities of the people.

The local chief executive added that the local government is also looking into the availability of the vaccines that will be made available for the people so that there will be sufficient supply of vaccines for the residents in the city’s 128 barangays. – Dexter A. See