The City of Bacolod has closed the deal for the purchase of 650,000 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc., Mayor Evelio Leonardia announced recently.
“We are getting (this) to start off our vaccination program. This is a giant leap towards realizing our vaccination goals,” Leonardia said in a statement.
He added that signing the deal with the Oxford-British firm would mean that “a very substantial number of our population can be vaccinated as soon as this product hits the Philippine shores”.
Since he had to honor the confidentiality clause in the contract, the mayor said he asked permission from AstraZeneca so he can disclose the details of the agreement.
“When I was informed that some quarters were already making public the details of the deal, I sought AstraZeneca’s consent first before making this announcement…This is definitely a very good start,” he added.
Leonardia got the go-signal from the City Council last week to sign the non-disclosure agreement and the multilateral agreement with AstraZeneca.
After that, he sent another letter-request to the legislative body, asking to give him continuing authorization to enter into contracts with other pharmaceutical companies legally operating in the Philippines that could provide Covid-19 vaccines duly approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Leonardia said the city government is spending PHP300 million for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
“We are willing to augment, to re-align, and to revert all items in our budget if the need arises. We will be starting with the preparation of PHP300 million for the vaccines. We will make adjustments if necessary,” he added.
Last month, Leonardia, national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, formed the Committee on Vaccine Availment chaired by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas for the city mayors to strategize efforts to ensure that their constituents have early access to quality and affordable vaccines.
Meanwhile, as National President of the League of Cities of the Philippines, Leonardia will represent the city mayors today (January 15) at the Philippine Senate virtual hearing on Vaccines, with the senators sitting in a Committee as a whole. (Nanette Guadalquiver via pna, photo by pna)