BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
More Negros Occidental local government units have signified their intention to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for their constituents, and Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that he will assist them, and the private sector, in securing vaccines from the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company.
The cities of Himamaylan, Sagay, Cadiz and Talisay already signified their intentions to buy vaccines, with funds ranging from P1 million to as high as P80 million.
Lacson said the provincial government entered into a multi-lateral agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 100,000 doses of vaccines for 50,000 people.
The province allocated an initial P30 million for the vaccines, while the Bacolod City government earmarked P300 million for its vaccine procurement.
The League of Cities of the Philippines, chaired by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, will have a virtual meeting today with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez and Food and Drug Administration director-general Rolando Enrique Domingo on the plans of its members to purchase the vaccines.
Lacson will also meet with Negros Occidental mayors tomorrow, that will focus on the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, the planned relocation of the seat of power to Talisay, and the possible opening of the borders with Negros Oriental.
Lacson said that personally, he is not yet inclined to open the borders with Negros Oriental, stressing that it will be difficult to monitor incoming passengers from Oriental and other provinces passing through the other side of Negros. He said the number of active cases in the province had already increased from 93 last week to 104, as of this time. “Maybe, this was the result of the return of locally stranded individuals to Negros Occidental, or the yuletide season celebrations,” he added.*