The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), headed by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia as national president, is appealing to the Office of President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an Executive Order to authorize city mayors to make advance payments for the COVID-19 vaccines contracted by city governments.
The LCP adopted Resolution No. 2021-01 containing this appeal during its Special General Assembly last February 4.
“We need the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte to pursue our availment of the vaccines. With his authority to allow advance payment, our local vaccination program can be set in accelerated motion,” Leonardia said.
It can be recalled that the LCP, during its Special General Assembly last January 12 which was attended by 114 city mayors, agreed to partner with the national government in implementing the COVID-19 vaccination program. The league took initiatives in encouraging cities to procure their vaccines to ensure that the target population is vaccinated.
As a result of this initiative and in coordination with the National Task Force on COVID-19, several cities have already entered into tripartite agreements with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company under the “A Dose of Hope” program last January 14.
Pursuant to Presidential Decree 1445, local government units need an express authorization and issuance from Duterte such as an executive order allowing them to procure vaccines and proceed with the required advance payment market provision in their respective agreements with the pharmaceutical companies.
Thus, the LCP members are seeking the urgent action of the Office of the President to issue the necessary executive order at the soonest possible time.
Copies of the LCP resolution were furnished to the Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of Budget and Management, Commission on Audit, National Task Force on COVID-19, Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, Department of Health, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government for their information and favorable endorsement to President Duterte./WDJ