Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), has called for a special online general assembly of city mayors on Jan. 12, to meet with the vaccine czar of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, and the director general of the Food and Drug Administration, with the availment of vaccines on top of the agenda.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez has confirmed his attendance at the meeting and will present the national government’s roadmap to coordinate and assist local government units in securing the vaccines, a press release from the city said.
Galvez had earlier met with Leonardia and the LCP Committee on Vaccine Availment on Dec. 29 to discuss the timeline of vaccine availability based on ongoing negotiations with prospective pharmaceutical companies.
“During our talks with the Secretary Galvez, he explained what vaccines will be available and the specifications of each type. Since securing vaccines is a top priority concern of all city mayors, we find it necessary that we hold this LCP general assembly for them to get first-hand information and participate in the formation of policies and procedures of the vaccine availment process,” Leonardia said.
FDA director general Rolando Enrique Domingo is also expected to attend the meeting to provide updates on the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Covid-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, the LCP Committee on Vaccine Availment, led by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, is set to push for the adoption of a resolution requesting for the LCP membership in the IATF-EID to ensure proper alignment of national and local vaccination efforts.
The assembly comes after several city mayors had already allocated budgets for vaccines.
Bacolod City allocated P300 million for the vaccine needs of residents.
Meanwhile, Leonardia led a virtual dialog with the Bacolod CoVac (COVID Vaccination) Council recently.
The mayor highlighted the importance of information and education campaign for a successful massive vaccination in Bacolod against Covid.
“We have to sit down with you because this is going to be a voluminous and complicated situation,” Leonardia said.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, vice chair of the CoVac council, suggested that before the vaccine comes, a list of those who want to get vaccinated should be ready considering its shelf life.
MASS VACCINATION CAMPAIGN
In a press conference that followed on Thursday, Leonardia appealed to the media and medical experts to intensify the information and education campaign on mass vaccination.
“We do not want to see the day when the vaccine comes and we have no one to vaccinate. We will not allow that to happen,” the mayor stressed.
The local chief executive added that vaccines should be available to as many people who would want to get vaccinated.
OIC-City Health officer Dr. Edwin Miraflor said that they have already started surveying CHO employees for the vaccination.
He also appealed to the Liga ng mga Barangay to make use of the purok councils in conducting surveys for the profiling of the individuals who will be vaccinated.
Miraflor, a member of the CoVac Council, was assigned to administer a system for registering beneficiaries, tracking the distribution of vaccine doses, and notifying beneficiaries of their eligibility and the vaccination schedule.
Present at the CoVac meeting were Councilor Renecito Novero, head of Vaccine Center Team, Councilor Lady Gles Pallen, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, councilors Cindy Rojas and Ayesha Joy Villaflor, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, City Budget Officer Ma. Imelda Williams, and Department of Social Services Development head Pacita Tero. Also present were executive assistants Joe Marie Vargas and Teresa Manalili, Drs. Chris Sorongon, Hector Gayares, Rommela Tiples-Ruiz, and Michael Thomas Salvador, president of the Philippine College of Physicians-Negros Occidental Chapter.*