Cebu City eyes purchase of own anti-Covid vaccine

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella (left) talks to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (right) and Inter-Agency Task Force deputy chief implementer in Cebu Melquiades Feliciano (2nd from right). (Photo from Cebu City Public Information Office)

MAYOR Edgardo Labella on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, assured that the Cebu City Government will purchase its own vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) once this becomes available.

He said this will be on top of the vaccine that the national government promised to provide for free to low-income families and other priority sectors.

Vaccines against influenza and pneumonia will also be administered to the frontliners.

In a virtual press conference Wednesday, Labella said the Cebu City Health Department and Local Finance Committee are now looking into possible sources of funds for the procurement of the anti-Covid vaccine.

He did not specify the amount that will be allocated, but said the funds may be sourced from the 2021 annual budget, possibly through realignment of the budget for some items.

Labella said the City has to prepare its own budget for the vaccine since based on the pronouncement of the national government, not everyone will receive it.

“Kita sa dakbayan sa Sugbo, kay limitado ra man ang i-provide, ato kining dugangan kutob sa atong mahimo nga ang atong mga katawhan sa dakbayan sa Sugbo maka-avail gayud aning vaccine kung ma-officially pronounce na nga makaayo gikan sa atong authorities sa Food and Drugs Administration,” Labella said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said priority will be given to the poor, middle-income families, police, military and Cabinet officials as soon as a vaccine is approved.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government, through the Philippine International Trading Corp., will initially purchase vaccine good for 20 million people.

Labella said Cebu City’s around 1.1 million residents should be inoculated against Covid-19.

Ensuring the good health of Cebu City residents is currently the priority of the City Government, he added. (JJL)


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