BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The municipality of EB Magalona in Negros Occidental will seek the help of various groups to include 70 percent of its population in the Covid-19 vaccination program because of its meager resources and limited budget to purchase the vaccines.
The “Adopt a Friend, Gugma mo Kaluwasan ko! Tumandok Cares” was launched yesterday by the municipal government during an orientation on Covid-19 vaccination in the town, that was attended by municipal officials, led by Mayor Marvin Malacon and Vice Mayor Eric Matulac, Frs. Ernesto Salvador and Arnel Pabalate, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Edmundo Janeo, a representative of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and barangay officials and residents.
Councilor Jovie Madayag, chairperson of the Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Education, said the family of Malacon pledged to donate P500,000 for the purchase of vaccines, and the procurement process is still ongoing.
Municipal Planning and Development officer, Engineer Erwin Poniado, said the Association of Barangay Captains in EB Magalona also committed to set aside an amount for the purchase of vaccines for their respective barangay officials, health workers, and tanods.
Madayag said other sectors of society, including business groups and private companies, are urged to take care of their employees, while SB members will take charge of their respective families.
P15M FOR VACCINE PURCHASE
Malacon, who issued an executive order for the conduct of an information drive on Covid-19 vaccination in the barangays of EB Magalona, said yesterday that they will allocate about P15 million for the purchase of vaccines.
But he said it is not enough to cover 70 percent of the town population of about 40,000.
“This is the reason why we need the help of various sectoral groups,” Malacon said.
If the 10,000 doses intended for frontliners are waived and if all sectoral groups respond to the call for help, Malacon said the vaccines could be given to other residents.
He also appealed to the business sector, the Department of Education, and the Philippine National Police to take charge of their respective personnel and families, so more town residents can avail of the vaccines.
Malacon said he will also coordinate with the offices of Rep. Francisco Benitez and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano on how to come up with a solution to the lack of vaccines, although he is also expecting help from the national and provincial governments, in negotiating for the purchase of doses.
The DILG has informed local government units that a tripartite approach has been recommended in the procurement of vaccines, and will involve the DOH, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, and the vaccine supplier. All LGUs with available funds and those seeking authorization for emergency use and purchase of vaccines, are encouraged to coordinate with their respective provincial governments in undertaking the procurement process, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said.*