League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) National President and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia is among the four featured panel speakers of the Livable Cities Challenge Laboratory virtual session on “Getting Cities Ready for Vaccines” tomorrow 24 February 2021 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Leonardia will present the Vaccination Program of Bacolod, a press release from Bacolod City PIO said.
Other presenters are Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, executive vice president of LCP; Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay; and Ormoc City Richard Gomez, public relations officer of LCP.
The Labs virtual session is spearheaded by the Livable Cities Philippines, headed Guillermo Luz, and the LCP. It is a continuation of the series of webinars to prepare cities to come up with better solutions to the health crisis.
The discussion for the first Lab session will revolve around how cities plan to build acceptance for the vaccine, allocate it equitably across various populations, and administer it efficiently together with different partners.
It will tackle the preparations undertaken by city governments in rolling out their vaccine programs to fight COVID-19. The discussion will focus on how cities are building public acceptance for the vaccine, allocating shots equitably across various populations, and administering these efficiently together with different partners.
Bacolod was among the first LGUs in the country to establish a COVID-19 Vaccination Council (CoVaC) created by virtue of Executive Order No. 83 issued by Leonardia on Dec. 22, 2020.
“It is the highest priority of the city government to ensure that the lives of Bacolodnons are protected from COVID-19. This is the preamble of our CoVaC executive order. We must make sure we have accessibility and adequacy of vaccine supply,” Leonardia had said.
The CoVaC is tasked to plan, supervise, and implement programs and activities related to the City’s COVID-19 Vaccination Roadmap, which is aimed at providing citizens access to the vaccine “at the soonest possible time with the widest and most realistic coverage possible.”
Bacolod was also among the first cities to negotiate for its own COVID-19 vaccines. It already has reserved 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to kick off its vaccination program, making it among the top five cities in the country with the biggest vaccine orders, together with Davao City, Quezon City, Makati City, and the City of Manila.
Aside from AstraZeneca, Leonardia is also negotiating with other pharmaceutical companies that are developing COVID-19 vaccines.
Last Feb. 5, Bacolod held its vaccination simulation exercises at the Barangay Villamonte gymnasium. Observers from the Department of Health–Western Visayas (DOH-6) commended the City’s vaccination process for its smooth flow and observance of health protocols.
As President Rodrigo Duterte already gave LGUs authority to make advance payments for the vaccines, Leonardia said the City Government of Bacolod is preparing the advance payment of 20 percent, as per contract, of the total cost of 650,000 doses of vaccines it will procure from AstraZeneca.
As national president of LCP, Leonardia had led the League in lobbying with the Office of the President to give cities authority to make advance payments to pharmaceutical companies for COVID-19 vaccines.
About 300 companies and 39 LGUs from across the country have pitched in for the purchase of AstraZeneca’s vaccines. The company is asking for a 20 percent down payment.
The LCP adopted Resolution No. 2021-01 during its Special General Assembly last February 4, appealing to the Office of President to issue an executive order for authority on advance payments.
As a result, Duterte signed Presidential Memorandum No. 51 on Feb. 18 granting authority to LGUs to make up to 50 percent down payment on COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are very thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for the timely issuance of Memorandum Order 51 that will allow cities to make advance payments for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. This has a direct impact, especially to cities which had earlier signed the multilateral agreement with the Department of Health (DOH), National Task Force Against COVID-19, and AstraZeneca. But this will, more importantly, benefit all LGUs similarly situated.”*/CITY PIO