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Duterte wants sanctions vs LGUs with slow vaccine rollout

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Duterte wants sanctions vs LGUs with slow vaccine rollout
“I have ordered Secretary Año to impose the necessary sanction against LGUs and local chief executives who are not performing nor using the doses given to them in a most expeditious manner. I will hold each and every LGU accountable for this,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded public address aired on Wednesday.
Simeon Celi Jr. / Presidential Photo, File

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has directed Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to impose sanctions on local government units (LGUs) that fail to administer COVID-19 vaccines to their constituents in the “most expeditious manner.”

“I have ordered Secretary Año to impose the necessary sanction against LGUs and local chief executives who are not performing nor using the doses given to them in a most expeditious manner. I will hold each and every LGU accountable for this,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded public address aired on Wednesday.

The President expressed dissatisfaction over the slow mobilization and administration of vaccines in areas outside Metro Manila.

“I really don’t know where the mistakes are happening… The delivery of the vaccines from the National Capital Region is OK, but the problem is when they reach the provincial, regional level,” he said.

Duterte has ordered the use of air assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to expedite delivery of COVID-19 jabs.

“Even in the matter of deploying them to the proper sites is weak. So, I told them to use the air assets of the PNP and AFP,” he said.

Duterte said the vaccines would be delivered directly to municipalities. “These (vaccines) would no longer pass through the provincial government because that would be another gridlock,” he said.

“The human resource side would be ready to do the injections. I hope that the local governments, the mayors, would take time really to attend to this problem of delay,” the Chief Executive said.

Around 148,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were destroyed in a recent fire at the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Health Office.

While nearly 90 percent of adults in the capital region are fully vaccinated, only about 35 percent of adults in the country have had both jabs.

Duterte has leaned heavily on the armed services to fight the pandemic. They enforced one of the world’s most severe lockdowns and transported medical supplies across the country and internationally.

“Upon delivery by plane and arrival at the (vaccine operations center), the helicopters there will take over. They would be the ones to take them to the municipal governments,” the President said.

“The armed forces have the lift capability,” military spokesman Colonel Ramon Zagala told AFP Wednesday.

At the same meeting Tuesday, Carlito Galvez, head of the country’s COVID-19 task force, acknowledged that local governments needed to “boost their capacity” to inject more people per day as well as to “procure their own cold chain system” to store more vaccines. – AFP

COVID-19 VACCINE

PRESIDENT DUTERTE

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