MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has disclosed his plan to allot more coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine doses to provinces that have reported a surge in infections.
In an interview with SMNI’s “Exclusive” aired on Tuesday night, Duterte said Cebu, Cagayan, and Zamboanga would get a bigger supply of Covid-19 vaccines due to the sudden increase of cases in these provinces.
“This time, ‘yung ibang siyudad, bibigyan ng malaking allotment (other cities will receive a big [vaccine] allotment),” he said. “May spike eh. Hindi kasi naniniwala. Hawaan nang hawaan. ‘Yan ang mahirap (There’s a spike because they don’t believe [in Covid-19]. They keep on infecting one another. That’s the problem).”
The National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8, which consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Batangas, and Pampanga, has been prioritized for the Covid-19 vaccination program.
The allocation of Covid-19 vaccine doses in Metro Manila and the eight other areas depends on incoming supplies.
Duterte said the government is using the loans granted by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to procure more Covid-19 vaccines.
He also guaranteed that the government does not “touch” any funds earmarked for Covid-19 response efforts.
“Covid has a different line of budgeting,” Duterte said. “We do not touch the things, the money that has been intended for (a) specific purpose.”
As of June 7, a total of 6,096,208 Covid-19 vaccine doses has been administered nationwide.
About 4,491,948 have received the first dose, while 1,604,260 have completed the two vaccine shots.
The Duterte administration’s goal is to inoculate up to 70 million within 2021 to achieve population protection.
National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., on June 2 expressed confidence that the government’s population protection target is achievable by the end of the year.
With the steady arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, the Philippines can increase its daily vaccination rate to 500,000 jabs in the third quarter to 700,000 shots in the fourth quarter of 2021, Galvez said. (PNA)