MANILA - The Department of Health on Wednesday belied claims that Iloilo City received fewer COVID-19 vaccine vials.
The city government received only 66,000 out of the 84,000 vials that DOH said it gave, Mayor Jerry Treñas earlier said.
But the department said the 84,000 vials were completely delivered to Iloilo City.
"Hindi lang niya ma-account 'yung ibang hindi dumaan sa local government unit," DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Due to prioritization in the country's vaccine drive, some COVID-19 vials were directly sent to hospitals for inoculation of healthcare workers, she explained.
"Diniretso po natin sa ating mga ospital, hindi na po dumaan sa local government units," Cabotaje said.
Treñas said the national government has to send more COVID-19 vaccines and assistance as he bewailed it was focusing more on Metro Manila and 8 other economic hubs or the NCR+8, than in places like Iloilo City.
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.
But Cabotaje said NCR+8 still remains a priority destination for vaccine doses due to its high number of COVID-19 cases and population.
"Sila ang focus areas," she said.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Benhur Abalos earlier said about 200,000 individuals in the NCR 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.