SPECIAL SESSION. The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP)convenes for a special session on Tuesday (Jan. 5, 2021) to tackle resolutions needed for the procurement of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-2019) by the city government. The city government is eyeing to buy 200,000 doses from London's AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. (Photo from SP Facebook page)

ILOILO CITY – The city government here is now gearing to procure the AZD 1222, also known as Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from London, against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

On Tuesday, the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) in a special session requested by Mayor Jerry Treñas passed two resolutions in preparation for the purchase of the vaccine.

“We passed two resolutions. First to sign the confidentiality agreement. There are certain matters that we cannot disclose but they have to disclose it to the mayor or his representatives,” Majority floor leader Romel Duron said in an interview.

The second resolution authorized the mayor to make the proper representation for Iloilo City relative to the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.

The resolution allows Treñas to negotiate, conclude, sign and execute the agreement and other pertinent papers, instruments, and documents and do all acts for and on behalf of the city.

So far this is the cheapest and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals wants to make it available worldwide as much as possible that is why it is very cheap, Duron said.

The city legislator said the local government will be joining the procurement of the national government so a tripartite agreement is needed.

“We have a multilateral agreement for the advance purchase of AZD 1222 vaccine in the Philippines,” he said.

He added that only those who are willing and can afford to buy will be allowed to be included in the purchase.

While the city government is eyeing to buy 200,000 vaccines, there is no assurance yet that it will be provided as they have no idea how many vaccines will be made available by the pharmaceutical firm plus the national government will be the one to allocate.

Duron was informed by the mayor that there will be a meeting on Thursday to finalize who will be included in the agreement.

Last week, Treñas said the plan is to immunize 100 percent of the city's population.

However, he said those who will refuse will not be forced to submit to receive the jab. (PNA)