By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The local governments of Bago, Cadiz, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, Sagay, and Talisay in Negros Occidental heeded the call of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to set aside funds to acquire the vaccines to inoculate residents against the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III said they already set aside P40 million while Mayor Rogelio Raymund Tongson Jr. said Himamaylan City allotted an initial P1 million.
Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante said the city government has a budget of up to P80 million for the vaccines or more if needed.
Meanwhile, Mayor Neil Lizares said Talisay City is ready to allocate funds for the purchase of vaccines for teachers and senior citizens.
Mayors Pedro Zayco of Kabankalan City, Nicholas Yulo of Bago City and Rex Jalando-on of La Carlota City also said they have the funds to purchase vaccines but are waiting for a meeting with vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez, tomorrow.
On the other hand, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez said he is still studying the purchase of vaccines, while Victorias City Mayor Francis Palanca said he will wait for former Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez to bring the vaccines next month.
Last week, Negros Occidental and Bacolod City announced their signing contracts for the advance purchase of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines.
Lacson then called on other local government units to allocate funds for the purchase of vaccines for their constituents, adding it is not clear yet if the national government will provide vaccines for all Filipinos./DGB, WDJ