By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson confirmed yesterday morning that he signed a non-disclosure agreement with a pharmaceutical company for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for the province.
Lacson explained the non-disclosure agreement means that he cannot divulge details of the purchase deal of the vaccines.
However, he said that the provincial government allocated P30 million for the purchase of the vaccines initially for medical frontliners.
He admitted that the amount may not be enough for what the province needs but he expects an allocation from the national government.
The governor said he still does not know what the national government will give to the local government units whether it is “an allocation or a grant.”
“As far as the province is concerned, the source of the funds is the Provincial Disaster Fund,” he added.
Lacson also encouraged LGUs in the province, especially the cities, to also allocate funds to purchase vaccines for their use.
Previously, former Rep. Alfredo Benitez, provincial consultant on economic affairs, who will head the procurement effort, said that he is negotiating for Negros Occidental to be among the first provinces in the country to avail of COVID-19 vaccines by early this year.
“We already have an agreement with the national government for the purchase of the vaccines and they are trying to negotiate with US-based Moderna or Chinese biotech Sinovac for allocations,” Benitez said./DGB, WDJ