More Metro Manila cities allocate funds for Covid vaccines

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There are now eight cities in Metro Manila that have allocated their own funds to purchase vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Quezon City was the latest to announce that it has joined the list of cities in Metro Manila to set aside funds for that purpose, allocating at least P1 billion.

“We are ready to purchase. After implementing our test, isolate, and treat strategy, vaccination is our game plan now. This free vaccination program will definitely complete our efforts against this deadly virus,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement on Tuesday.

The city government will prioritize 10,000 health workers, 300,000 senior citizens, 20,000 adult persons with disabilities, and other priority sectors as recommended by the World Health Organization.

The other city in Metro Manila to announce on Tuesday that it was setting aside funds for Covid-19 vaccines was Taguig, also setting aside P1 billion.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mayor Lino Cayetano said the funds are included in the city’s P13.5-billion budget for 2021, which was approved by the Department of Budget Management (DBM) on Dec. 23, 2020.

Dubbed as the recovery budget, the annual appropriation program will cover the city’s pandemic recovery plan, which includes massive testing, treatment and vaccination.

The city received the DBM’s approval only on Monday.

“With the approved budget, the city government will also allocate for various public service recovery and sustainability programs,” Cayetano said.

The six other cities in Metro Manila that have announced allocation of funds to purchase Covid-19 vaccines are: Makati (P1 billion); Pasig (P300 million); Valenzuela (P150 million); Caloocan (P125 million); San Juan (P50 million); and Navotas (P20 million).

The eight cities in Metro Manila announced their allocation of funds for Covid-19 vaccines right after the League of Cities of the Philippines made a call to cities that have enough money to set side their own funds for the vaccines.

Outside of Metro Manila, Zamboanga City has allocated P200 million to purchase Covid-19 vaccines, while the Pampanga provincial government is setting aside P200 to P300 million for the same purpose. CURRENTPH

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