LAOAG CITY – The city government is eyeing to avail a PHP70-million loan from any government financial institution for the exclusive purchase of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines for its people.
Vice Mayor Vicentito Lazo confirmed this in a public statement on Tuesday following the 11th Sangguniang Panlungsod’s approval of City Resolution No. 2021-032 series of 2021, granting authority to Mayor Michael Marcos Keon to seek the said amount from any government lending institutions.
According to Lazo, the Laoag council has intended to pass the resolution earlier when the vaccines are still on clinical trials but they have deferred it when the national government announced an allocation of PHP82.5 billion for its vaccination program.
But as the number of infections is increasing in the province, the council pushed for the procurement of more vaccines to speed up the inoculation of Laoagueños and achieve herd immunity at the soonest possible time.
“We should not depend alone on the national government. If other municipalities and cities can find ways in procuring vaccines, more so that the City of Laoag can,” said Lazo adding the vaccines to be purchased by the city will give priority to the tricycle drivers, vendors, authorized persons outside residents, urban poor, persons with disabilities, those in the working class and other segments of the society.
In Laoag City alone, it was learned that the priority groups consist of 17,000 people but the majority of them are still waiting to be vaccinated.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation in the city, Keon said the city government has no other choice but to seek help from government financial institutions to finance the purchase of additional vaccines.
To date, Laoag remains to have the most number of 150 active cases with the most number of 581 recoveries as well.
Its public isolation facilities are also overwhelmed, prompting authorities to allow infected persons with very mild symptoms to isolate themselves at home while village health workers check on them regularly.
Meanwhile, business entities in the city have also bared plans to purchase their own vaccines for their employees, provided that they have to enter into a tripartite agreement with the local government unit concerned and the Department of Health (DOH). (PNA)