BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson encouraged local government units in Negros Occidental yesterday to come up with allocations for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, for their constituents.
This was after Lacson confirmed that he is expected to sign today a multilateral agreement with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company for the advanced purchase of vaccines.
The provincial government initially allocated P30 million for the purchase of vaccines, equivalent to 100,000 doses of AZD1222 vaccines for 50,000 persons.
“If it goes well, we will ask for another batch. Probably, we can include the needs of the private sector,” Lacson said.
He said that medical frontliners will be given priority in the vaccination.
Himamaylan City Vice Mayor Justin Dominic Gatuslao, in his social media account, said that Mayor Rogelio Raymund Tongson has allocated P1 million for the purchase of vaccines, making it the first LGU to respond to the call of Lacson.
Lacson said availment of vaccines for senior citizens and indigents may still depend on the budget of the provincial government, stressing that it is not clear to them yet if the national government is also providing free vaccines to all Filipinos.
The Bacolod City government has also allocated P300 million for the purchase of vaccines.
Lacson said he is happy to note that Covid active cases in Negros Occidental are down to 93, as of Jan. 7, and attributed this to the moratorium on the return of locally stranded individuals to the province, that ended Jan. 7, except for San Carlos City that has an ongoing LSI ban until Jan. 27. “But people should not be over-confident, especially with the new Covid-19 variant,” he stressed. “For as long as a great majority has not been vaccinated, it is still not safe.”*