MANILA – The cities of Marikina and Mandaluyong have allotted funds for the purchase of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines for their residents.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the city has allocated PHP82.7 million for the procurement of the vaccines, which is included in the city's PHP2.3 billion budget for 2021. 

“We have a budget allocation of PHP 82.7 million which was approved last November 2020 to procure the vaccine,” Teodoro said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Tuesday.

Teodoro added that the city government is just waiting for the list of approved vaccines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and they will prioritize front-liners such as healthcare, medical workers as well the working population for the immunization against Covid-19.

“'Yung mga economically active at socially mobile, gagawin namin (ang vaccination) in partnership sa retail, industrial and manufacturing, small and medium scale (Those who are economically active and socially mobile, we will do the vaccination in partnership with retail, industrial and manufacturing, small and medium scale enterprises). Our targeted sector is the working population so we can sustain economic activities,” he said.

In Mandaluyong, Mayor Menchie Abalos said the city is shelling out PHP200 million as an initial fund to procure the vaccine to guarantee that residents will receive free Covid-19 vaccines this year.

"Sisikapin namin na mabigyan ng bakuna ang lahat ng Mandaleños sa oras na magkaroon na ng bakuna kaya't hinihingi namin ang kooperasyon ng lahat (We will try to get all Mandaleños vaccinated once the vaccine is available so we ask for everyone's cooperation)," Abalos said in a radio interview.

Abalos also tasked the city's 27 village chiefs to expedite the processing of F1 forms (Family form1) to complete the data bank of its residents. 

"Umaapela din ako sa lahat ng residente sa lungsod na i-fill out ang mga F1 forms para malaman natin kung gaano karaming bakuna ang ating kukunin (I also appeal to all city residents to fill out the F1 forms so we know how many vaccines we will get)," she said.

She also hopes that the data bank of the city's residents will be completed immediately as it is announced that in March or April this year there will be a Covid-19 vaccine.

Abalos also formed a committee to oversee the vaccination and ensure that there are enough vaccines for all citizens of the city. 

The Covid-19 cluster committee members will oversee the development of a proper vaccination system and are expected to complete all processes by next month. 

Abalos said the city government is making a mobile app that will serve as a registration portal for Mandaleños who will voluntarily get vaccinated and it is expected to launch next week.

Currently, the government is negotiating with several pharmaceutical companies for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines – Pfizer Inc., Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax Inc, Sinovac, and Sputnik V.

On Monday, Malacañang welcomed efforts of some local government units (LGUs) to secure doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, saying it would mean more vaccines for the entire country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, explained that the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines would be a government-to-government transaction.

Last December, Roque suggested using the local funds to purchase vaccines not among vaccine brands already identified by the government. (PNA)