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âGive vaccines donated by private sector to NCRâ
In a statement, the Go Negosyo founder said the proposal to direct vaccine donations to NCR has been discussed with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
AFP/Joel Saget

‘Give vaccines donated by private sector to NCR’

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 25, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The private sector wants to focus its vaccine donations to the government in the National Capital Region (NCR), epicenter of the current surge in COVID-19 cases, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said yesterday.

In a statement, the Go Negosyo founder said the proposal to direct vaccine donations to NCR has been discussed with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

“We are now seeing a resurgence of cases in the country and the epicenter of these cases is the NCR. Considering the situation and with the arrival of the first batch of our order from AstraZeneca this May and June – half of which would be donated to the government for its frontliners – we are recommending to Secretary Galvez and the whole of our government, together with Tessie Sy-Coson of SM Group and Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp., to direct the 50 percent donation intended for government priority sectors in NCR,” Concepcion said.

The private sector group led by Concepcion purchased a total of 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca through tripartite agreements signed with the vaccine manufacturer and the government.

The first tripartite deal, covering 2.6 million doses, was signed in November last year.

In January, the second tripartite agreement was signed, which included orders from the private sector and local government units.

“We have agreed that we are willing to shoulder the vaccination of our company’s economic frontliners and those under our donation for the government. We, in the private sector, volunteered to donate half of the vaccines to our government frontliners to achieve our common goal of vaccinating the population as fast as possible. In this way, the faster the population would be vaccinated, the faster the economy shall bounce back,” Concepcion said.

Data from the Department of Health showed the NCR has a total of 287,360 COVID-19 cases as of March 23, 2021.

The same data showed that new cases in the last 14 days in the NCR were at 38,785.

Concepcion said it is necessary for the country to continue its T3 strategy to test, trace and treat.

“We really have been stable and we should continue with our targeted testing, proper and serious tracing and applying appropriate treatment, most especially that the nationwide immunization program of the government has already started,” he said.

He said the procurement of vaccines is the country’s weapon to win against COVID-19, made possible with the support of government.

“From the time we volunteered to give half of our procured doses to our government frontliners, we have been hand-in-hand with the government in combating this pandemic. And now with the final stage of this battle, given the conditions of this war, I suggest that our arsenal shall be focused on where most of our enemies are present right now, in NCR. After eliminating this huge threat, it would be easier for us to defeat the smaller enemies that we can find in other regions,” he said.

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