MANILA - The national government will provide support to poor localities in the implementation of its COVID-19 vaccination program across the country, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday.
"We will provide the poorer LGUs (local government units) or the lower classification LGUs with certain logistical support," he said in a Senate hearing.
Since COVID-19 vaccines will be offered for free, Duque said the national government would provide requirements in administering the vaccines such as syringes, face mask and face shield.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. noted that LGUs would play a "huge role" in bringing infections under control.
"LGUs, basically, will do the major task in the implementation of the vaccination together with the DOH," he said when asked by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on the vaccine rollout.
Galvez, also chief implementer of the National Policy Against COVID-19, said they had given nearly a dozen tasks to LGUs for the program.
He said LGUs were required to produce a master list of recipients by end of December, and consolidation of hospitals and other facilities for the national inoculation program.
Several rich LGUs, mostly in the Philippine capital, have placed advance orders of COVID-19 vaccine from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
Some key cities outside of Metro Manila have also placed orders with the same company.
To date, the Philippines has tallied over 487,000 coronavirus infections, of which more than 9,400 have resulted to deaths.