MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday denied allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte's home province Davao has been receiving most of the Pfizer vaccines delivered to the Philippines.
Both Davao and Cebu received 210,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines, Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr. said in an online press conference.
"Wala pong pagkakaiba yung doses na naibigay sa Cebu at sa Davao... Wala hong favoritism dito," he said.
(There is no difference in the number of doses deployed to Cebu and to Davao... There is no favoritism here.)
"Hindi po ito pang Davao City lang. Sa Davao region po ito at yung mga karatig pook," he said.
(This is not just for Davao City. This is for the entire Davao region and other nearby areas.)
Davao received the huge number of doses because the region had the capability to properly handle the vaccines, which had to be stored at below zero temperatures.
Only 5 regions in the Philippines have yet to receive Pfizer vaccines due to the lack of ultra low temperature storage facilities in these areas, DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
These regions are Mimaropa, Bicol, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and the Bangsamoro, she said.
The Bangsamoro parliament is preparing a resolution that would authorize the autonomous region to procure ultra low freezers and increase the number of COVID-19 testing facilities in the area, Dumama said.
As of June 17, the Philippines has received 2.46 million vaccines from Pfizer.
The Philippines earlier said it has inked a deal with the American pharmaceutical giant for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, calling it the biggest vaccine procurement this year.