Parañaque, Muntinlupa allocate funding for COVID-19 vaccines

Ghio Ong, Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The local governments of Parañaque and Muntinlupa have earmarked funding for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines this year.

The Parañaque government has reserved P250 million in its 2021 budget while Muntinlupa set aside P170 million for vaccines that will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Parañaque Mayor and Metro Manila Council chairman Edwin Olivarez said P200 million would come from the city government’s general fund and P50 million from the budget of the local school board.

The funding for vaccines from the city’s school board would ensure that children and teachers would be vaccinated against COVID-19, Olivarez said in a Teleradyo interview on Wednesday.

Olivarez said around 300,000 residents of Parañaque would receive COVID-19 vaccines.

“Medical frontliners, senior citizens and other vulnerable sectors will be prioritized,” Olivarez said.

The local government will directly negotiate with the pharmaceutical firm for the purchase of the vaccines, he said.

Olivarez said they would request for a meeting with Belgium’s Janseen Pharmaceuticals Inc., the first company to conduct clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

The city government plans to borrow P1 billion from state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines to serve as standby funding for the vaccines, according to city treasurer Anthony Pulmano.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said they had allocated an initial P170 million for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the city government would ensure that all residents would be vaccinated.

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