As Senate and House leaders agreed to earmark P72.5 billion for the purchase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in the 2021 national budget last Wednesday, the local government of Manila, headed by Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, will raise P1 billion to acquire the said vaccines for its residents.
According to Domagoso, on top of the P250 million, it had already earmarked, around P1 billion could be used by the city council for the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines, which according to him, could be appropriated from the public works budget.
“We cancel construction of infrastructures in Manila,” Domagoso said.
Furthermore, in an INQlusive webinar series during the Inquirer’s 35th anniversary, Domagoso reiterated: “We are addressing the current scenario and probability of the real scenario.”
“We are ready for the (administration) of vaccines. Once there is already (a vaccine accredited), we will start. Why is it important for the city of Manila to have this? It will give a certain level of confidence. If a person is vaccinated, there is proof to it. We can decrease their anxieties. It’s a simple assurance,” he added.
Moreover, Domagoso said that the vaccines the Manila LGU will be purchasing once the vaccines are already available would be apart from those to be provided by the national government.
Also, Domagoso said the city “redesigned” its 2020 funds to respond to the pandemic, crafting 50 ordinances for the past 10 months for the purpose.