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Bacolod makes P31M initial vaccine payment

Mayor Evelio Leonardia announced that the City of Bacolod has made an advance initial payment of P31 million to AstraZeneca for the 650,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine it contracted with the pharmaceutical company.

“The initial payment practically consummates our contract for these critical vaccine supplies. We wanted to close the agreement as early as we could and that is why we made the payment ahead of the February 24 deadline,” Leonardia said in a press release last night.

“That should ensure the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines starting the third quarter. This is a step forward for our consolidated vaccine program,” the mayor added.

He commended City Administrator Em Ang, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, and acting City Treasurer Arlene Memoria “in making sure that we beat the deadline.”

Memoria said the City has deposited P31,219,500 with AstraZeneca Monday, and the amount represented 20 percent of the total cost of the 650,000 vaccines from AstraZeneca, that has also acknowledged receipt of the initial payment.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Feb. 18 Presidential Memorandum No. 51 granting authority to local governments to make advance payments exceeding the 15 percent limit for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines.

The MO came after the League of Cities of the Philippines, led by Leonardia as national president, had asked the President for an executive order to allow the LGUs to make advance payments to drug manufacturers they contracted ahead of the Feb. 24 deadline.*

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