Metro LGUs to launch simultaneous vaccination

Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila will launch synchronized COVID-19 vaccination programs, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said on Wednesday.

“No cities in Metro Manila would go first in launching the vaccination program. Simultaneous po iyan, walang mauunang siyudad kaya ang lahat ng LGUs ay naghahanda ng vaccinators,” Olivarez, who chairs the Metro Manila Council, said.

He said Parañaque residents could pre-register online or visit their respective barangays to sign up for the vaccination program.

Medical frontliners will be the first to receive vaccine shots, followed by the elderly and indigent residents, Olivarez said.

Parañaque has set aside P250 million to procure COVID-19 vaccines. It will receive an additional 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the national government.

The local government is planning to borrow P1 billion from the state-run Land Bank of the Philippines as standby fund for the vaccination program.

City hall will cut its operating hours every Friday for disinfection, Olivarez said.

City hall offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday.

In Valenzuela, the local government has tapped a cold storage facility in Barangay Lawang Bato in preparation for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Wednesday inspected the Estrella cold storage facility.

The storage facility can accommodate 625 pallets, enough to store 640,000 doses of vaccine city hall purchased from AstraZeneca, public information chief Zyan Caiña said.

Valenzuela hopes to inoculate 320,000 residents or 70 percent of the target population to be vaccinated.

Vaccination centers

In San Juan, barangay and school facilities are being eyed as COVID-19 vaccination centers, Mayor Francis Zamora said.

Once the city has finalized the number of residents who want to get vaccine jabs, Zamora said they would turn public schools into vaccination sites apart from the city gymnasium that would serve as the main vaccination center.

“We can also utilize barangay facilities depending on the final count of residents who registered for the vaccination,” he said.

Navotas mayor sued

Meanwhile, Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco is facing a complaint for graft and and neglect of duty before the Office of the Ombudsman over his alleged continued absences at city hall and unreasonable policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estelito Bautista, a former barangay chairman in Navotas, filed the complaint yesterday.

Bautista urged the ombudsman to investigate Tiangco for supposed violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and the Local Government Code.

He said Tiangco has not been physically reporting for work at the city hall since March last year when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Tiangco said the complaint was politically motivated. – Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Neil Jayson Servallos, Jose Rodel Clapano, Elizabeth Marcelo

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