BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Bacolod Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia may enter into more agreements with different pharmaceutical firms for the procurement of vaccines against Covid-19 in the coming days.
This was after the Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved his request to grant him authority, on a continuing basis, and to ratify contracts with pharmaceutical firms during their regular session yesterday.
During the session, councilors Ann Marie Palermo and Jun Gamboa suggested that the mayor should make it public if he will enter into agreements for vaccine acquisition.
They also suggested that the mayor should furnish the SP with copies of the transactions.
Councilor Renecito Novero said that any transaction entered into by Leonardia will pass through the scrutiny of the national government.
Novero said the procurement of the vaccines is eminent as there are a lot of countries that also want to avail of them.
He said that if agreements for vaccine procurement will be delayed due to technicalities, it may jeopardize the health and welfare of the public.
Councilor Dindo Ramos said there is a need for the mayor to transact with other pharmaceutical firms for the purchase of vaccines.
Ramos said Swedish-British AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company can only provide a limited quantity of vaccines for the city.
Leonardia on Thursday signed a multilateral and non-disclosure agreement with the pharmaceutical firm. The city allotted P300 million for the procurement of the vaccines.
He said the availability of the vaccine is limited and considering the massive nationwide and global demand for it, Bacolod may encounter problems in its timely availment if he will not be granted the authority to transact with pharmaceutical firms. Meanwhile, the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines is meeting with the mayors’ leagues for coordinated efforts for the procurement of vaccines.*