THE League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) urged the national government on Monday, January 18, 2021, to allow the local government units (LGUs) to purchase vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) directly from manufacturers.
Marinduque governor Presbitero Velasco Jr., LPP president, said they want a “clear authority” to directly negotiate with the suppliers to ensure that their constituents who will not be immediately included in the vaccination program of the national government will still be inoculated.
"We want to get a firm commitment that the vaccines to be procured by the LGUs will be used for our constituents on top of the 70 percent of our constituents that will be vaccinated with the vaccines procured by the national government," Velasco said.
The government expects at least 70 million doses of vaccines to be delivered in 2021, with the first shipment of 50,000 doses expected on February 20.
At present, LGUs must enter into a tripartite agreement with the national government and the manufacturer or supplier.
The national government is represented by the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) and the Department of Health (DOH).
Deputy House Speaker Rufus Rodriguez and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon have filed resolutions in their respective chambers seeking to allow LGUs to directly negotiate with the vaccine manufacturers.
Rodriguez said the coordinated proper vaccination programs by the local government units will “significantly” aid the government in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Drilon said it should be up to the manufacturers if they want to deal with LGUs or through the national government. (SunStar Philippines)