MANILA - Iloilo City received fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccines than the Department of Health reported, its mayor said Wednesday.
The local government received only 66,000 out of the 84,000 doses that DOH said it gave, said Mayor Jerry Treñas.
"I don't know where the 17,000 doses went. Sumulat ako kay (DOH-Western Visayas director Emilia) Monicimpo, walang sagot sa'kin," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(I've written to Monicimpo, there's no response.)
"Ang bakuna di nagtatagal dito sa'min. Wala kaming problema sa vaccine acceptance, ang kulang namin bakuna. We can do 8,000 vaccinations a day. Sumusobra ang tao sa bakuna."
(Vaccines don't last here. We have no problem with vaccine acceptance, our problem is the supply. The number of people who want to get vaccinated are more than the supply.)
The mayor again appealed to national government to send more COVID-19 vaccines and assistance as he bewailed the latter was focusing on Metro Manila and 8 other economic hubs or the NCR+8.
"Sana naman ang DOH tulungan naman kami maski malayo kami sa NCR, Pilipino rin kami," he said.
(We hope the DOH can help us even if we're far from NCR.)
"We need ventilators, high-flow oxygen canula. We need COVID medicines like remdesivir."
Treñas said the regional DOH direct was "missing in action" and lashed out at Health Secretary Francisco Duque for allegedly getting mad at him for low vaccination rate.
"Ano ba nangyari bakit ang palagay ng Health Secretary natin NCR+8 lang ang Pilipinas? Tapos magsabi kayo ano ang inyong inoculation per day? What can you do with 2,800 (doses)?" he said.
(What happened, why does the Health Secretary think NCR+8 is the whole Philippines. Then he will ask how many are our inoculations per day?)
"Tapos magalit pa si Duque sa’kin, anong kasalanan ko? Humihingi ako ng tulong dito magagalit siya. He’s supposed to be the (Health) secretary of the Philippines, that is his job."
(Then Duque will get mad at me, what did I do wrong? I'm asking for help here, then he would get mad.)
The region's urban center has recorded a total of 10,554 COVID-19 cases, with 927 active cases and 242 deaths, according to DOH data.
THE 'CHRISTIAN' THING TO DO
The chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said while it's "very important to protect" the capital region, it is also necessary to help provinces where there are reported surges of COVID-19 cases.
"Dapat lamang tulungan ang mga may surge. It’s only right, it’s being Christian. Tulungan natin sila," Chairman Benhur Abalos told ANC's Headstart in a separate interview.
(We must help those with surges. It's only right, it's being Christian. Let's help them.)
Still, he insisted that it is imperative that urban centers where there are international airports like Metro Manila be protected to stop the spread of the Delta variant anywhere else in the Philippines. He said the region should be allotted excess vaccines after an "equal" distribution across the country.
"It is only but Christian and natural that we help our brothers who really need these vaccines. But once we make this computation, kung may sobra ka pa, i-prioritize mo ang Metro Manila," he said.
(It is only but Christian and natural that we help our brothers who really need these vaccines. But once we make this computation, if you still have excess, you must prioritize Metro Manila.)
Abalos said about 200,000 individuals in the National Capital Region are inoculated daily with the help of private sector, which initiates vaccination of its employees and offers large vaccination sites.
The region aims to achieve population protection or full vaccination of its most vulnerable sectors by November.
Teleradyo, regional news, regions, Iloilo City, Jerry Trenas, COVID-19 vaccine, Philippines COVID-19 vaccination, Francisco Duque,