Duterte OKs tripartite cooperation with LGUs, pharma firms for Covid vaccines

The government’s proposed tripartite agreement with local government units (LGUs) and vaccine manufacturers has been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer, on Thursday night.

“We are therefore pleased that when we submitted our proposal to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to forge tripartite agreements between LGUs, the national government, and vaccine manufacturers, he immediately approved it,” Galvez said in a statement.

Galvez said the initiative is similar to the tripartite agreement signed between the national government, the private sector, and pharmaceutical companies in November 2020.

“The parties came together to maximize their manpower, expertise and resources to ensure a coordinated, integrated and holistic Covid-19 immunization program,” he added.

Galvez said the tripartite agreement is aimed at providing unified and synchronized efforts among the government, LGUs, and vaccine developers, to ensure the acquisition of sufficient doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the country.

“As we negotiate with these vaccine makers and place our orders for the Philippines, the tripartite agreements with the LGUs will urge pharmaceutical companies to expand their allocation for our country,” he said. “By factoring in the orders of local governments in our negotiations with these pharmaceutical companies, securing deals with them would be easier.”

The national government, he said, will provide necessary resources to help LGUs purchase equitable vaccines for their constituents.

“With the vaccines’ limited supply and very high demand from nations across the globe, our country needs to come up with a united strategy to obtain a bigger share of the vaccines. This is what the tripartite agreements aim to achieve,” he said.

Galvez cited the significant role of LGUs in the upcoming implementation of the nationwide vaccination program, once Covid-19 vaccines become available.

“The national government recognizes the crucial role that local government units have played in our nation’s battle against Covid-19, and soon, in the implementation of the national immunization program,” he added.

During the early stages of negotiations, Galvez said some LGUs have expressed their intentions to contribute to the vaccine procurement “using their own funds.”

“Since then, a growing number of LGUs from all parts of the country have reached out to us and manifested the same intention,” he said. “We are therefore pleased that when we submitted our proposal to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to forge tripartite agreements between LGUs, the national government, and vaccine manufacturers, he immediately approved it.”

Vaccine roadmap

Meanwhile, Galvez said the government will adopt a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach in the implementation of the vaccine roadmap.

He noted that LGUs are part of the government’s efforts to further scale up the country’s vaccine roadmap and timeline.

The vaccine roadmap, he said, “ensures a command and control system in the deployment of these vaccines.”

Vaccine distribution

Once vaccines are available, he said the government will utilize the “hub-and-spoke model” in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines.

“We are already identifying central hubs in major parts of the country and smaller establishments such as our regional health units, and provincial and municipal hospitals as spokes,” he added.

The government, he said, will establish a “strong governance mechanism from the national level down to the barangays.”

“And all of these need the support and collaboration of the LGUs. All of us must keep in mind that we all share a common goal, and that is, Saving Lives, Reviving Hope, Shaping our Future,” he said.

Massive vaccination program

Galvez earlier said the government is serious about providing a safe and efficient Covid-19 vaccine that will be given free to all Filipinos.

The government targets to vaccinate about 50 to 70 million individuals this year.

He said the government will carry out a strategic framework of the national vaccine roadmap, which will prioritize the inoculation of healthcare workers as well as members of vulnerable sectors such as senior citizens. CURRENTPH

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