By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is not in favor of proposals to impose sanctions on mayors whose local government units (LGUs) have low vaccination turnout.
Lacson’s stand came after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to sanction LGUs and local chief executives (LCEs) not performing well in relation to the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
According to the governor, the national government should first check the reasons why there is a low turnout before imposing sanctions.
He pointed out that it is only now that vaccine allocations from the national government have increased.
Negros Occidental currently has 25 percent vaccination rate target of 1.8 million Negrenses to reach herd immunity.
The provincial government has also encouraged LGUs to be creative in their ways to encourage their respective constituents to get themselves vaccinated.
Several LGUs in the province have already introduced rewards such as cash or free grocery items in order to bolster up interest for individuals to get themselves vaccinated.
Last Wednesday, November 3, Duterte ordered DILG Secretary Eduardo Año to impose the necessary sanctions against LGUs and LCEs who are not performing nor using the doses given to them in the most expeditious manner.
The President said he has ordered agencies to make sure that LGUs will receive enough daily vaccine supply as the government aims to administer one million doses or more everyday.
He has also ordered the use of the police and military air assets in the COVID-19 vaccine delivery to provinces and municipalities./DGB, WDJ