MANILA – There is no favoritism in the distribution of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.
National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., reiterated it on Thursday, contrary to the claim of preferential treatment by Iloilo Representative Janette Garin.
The vaccine czar said in a television interview that the government’s priority areas in the deployment of vaccines are in the so-called National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8 and 10 other highly urbanized areas hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
NCR Plus 8 is composed of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Batangas, Rizal, Bulacan, Metro Davao, and Metro Cebu.
Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Baguio, Zamboanga, Dumaguete, Tuguegarao, General Santos, Naga, and Legazpi have also been listed as priority areas.
Galvez emphasized Covid-19 vaccines are directly distributed to the Department of Health’s Committee Health Development Offices per region, including designated health offices of various local government units (LGUs) in highly urbanized areas.
The national government, he said, also checks on the Covid-19 situation of LGUs that ask for more vaccines.
“We would like to contest ‘yung sinasabi ni [Rep.] Garin kasi wala po talagang favoritism ang ginagawa natin. Ang ginagawa natin, ‘pag tumawag ang LGU and they rationalized na kailangan namin ganito na vaccine na matanggap kasi ganito pa lang ang natatanggap namin, which is para sa amin ay very reasonable naman (We would like to contest to what Rep. Garin is saying because there is really no favoritism in the distribution of vaccines. What we do, once the LGUs call us asking for more supplies after they rationalize their need for more vaccines because they only received this much volume, which is for us is very reasonable),” Galvez said.
He said jabs are immediately provided to LGUs that justify their needs to encourage local officials to implement the vaccination program.
Citing Cagayan de Oro, Galvez said the city appealed for more doses because of a surge in Covid-19 cases. (PNA)