Planning and preparations carried out by local government units (LGUs) are key to achieving a successful nationwide immunization program, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Wednesday.
“The mobilization of people on the ground, as well as the administration of the vaccine in communities, will largely depend on your readiness to help carry this out,” Galvez told LGUs during the visit of the Covid-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team, led by the National Task Force (NTF) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Makati City.
He cited the importance of the Covid-19 simulation exercises various LGUs as preparation for the national vaccination campaign.
“Kung kaya’t ikinatutuwa po ng code team ang paghahanda at preparasyon na isinasagawa ngayon ng maraming lungsod sa buong bansa kasama na ang lungsod ng Makati (The code team is pleased with the readiness and preparation that is being carried out by many cities throughout the country, including Makati City),” he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez cited the need for Makati City to revive its economy as it is the commercial center hub in Metro Manila.
As a business center hub, Galvez said its local economic revival amid the pandemic will contribute much to the country’s economy.
“Makati City was among the first LGUs which expressed their intention to enter into a tripartite agreement with the national government and vaccine manufacturers to secure vaccines for their constituents,” he said.
Through the tripartite agreement with the national government and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, the city government has secured one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for its residents and partners in the business sector.
The city government has allocated PHP1 billion as augmentation in the procurement of coronavirus vaccines.
“The tripartite agreement is a testament that our whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach in fighting this pandemic is working and bearing positive results,” Galvez said.
Meanwhile, Galvez said LGUs have significant roles in educating the public about the vaccination plan of the government.
“With the proliferation of unverified and fake news, nangangailanan ang ating mga kababayan ng tama at wastong impormasyon tungkol sa bakuna (our fellow countrymen need to know the right information about vaccines),” he said. “This is why we appreciate the move of Makati City for launching an information campaign to ensure that pressing issues and concerns pertaining to Covid-19 vaccines are answered.”
He lauded the Metro Manila Council for its unified efforts to combat the pandemic.
The Metro Manila Council is composed of mayors of the 16 cities in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Galvez said the national government noticed the improvement of the country’s response to the pandemic since the LGUs, particularly the Metro Manila Council, started to work together.
He assured the public anew that they are working to acquire vaccines that are safe, effective, and cost-effective which will be provided free for all Filipinos.
He said only Food and Drug Administration-approved Covid-19 vaccines will be purchased and will be used in the national immunization program of the government.
Galvez urged the public to continue adhering to the minimum health standards such as wearing face masks and face shields, maintaining social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene while waiting for the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in the country. (PNA)