MANILA - The national government, local government units and COVID-19 vaccine makers have yet to sign "almost all" of their deals, delaying the vaccine purchase of provinces, Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri said Tuesday.
Zubiri said he filed Senate Resolution 858 urging the Senate Committee of the Whole to ask the National Task Force Against COVID-19 about the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines by local government units (LGUs) and the private sector.
Only the tripartite agreements of private firms led by presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and businessman Ricky Razon have been signed, according to the senator.
Zubiri said some 52 LGUs have allocated funds to purchase their own vaccine supply.
"Until now, we’re still waiting. Not a single tripartite agreement of these local government units have been signed. This is not a matter of funding. Nandun ang pondo (The funds are there)," Zubiri told ANC's Headstart.
"The feedback given to me by most LGUs, wala pa (there's none signed yet). Almost all have not been signed."
The senator cited as an example his home province Bukidnon, which allotted P500 million for 600,000 doses for 250,000 to 300,000 residents.
"Ang dumarating ngayon na bakuna sa’min sa probinsiya, napakakonti lamang. We’ll never achieve herd immunity because the bulk of the vaccines is going to the NCR (National Capital Region)," he lamented.
(The number of vaccines arriving in our province is very few.)
"It’s coming in trickles. But we have the fund to purchase these vaccines, to push this vaccine program to make it 500,000 a day if they release these tripartite agreements."
The Philippines aims to vaccinate some 58 million in Metro Manila and 8 other urban areas by yearend to achieve population protection and revive the economy.
The World Health Organization said earlier countries need to vaccinate some 85 percent of their population against COVID-19 following the emergence of more transmissible variants such as the Delta variant.