PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants local government units (LGUs) to get the support they need in carrying out the government’s mass vaccination campaign, warning local officials that they will be held accountable if they fail to do their job.
Speaking during his weekly public address aired Wednesday on government response to the pandemic, President Duterte said the country has received sufficient COVID-19 jabs and the duty of the government is to put them in people’s arms.
In his message, the President has reiterated his instructions to all agencies to make sure that LGUs receive their daily jab performance so that the country can reach the target of 1 million jabs or more everyday.
“I have ordered Secretary Galvez, the PNP, and the AFP to provide all the necessary support to our LGUs particularly in the delivery of vaccines and mobilization of resources,” President Duterte said.
“I have also ordered Secretary Año to impose the necessary sanction against LGUs and local chief executives who are not performing nor using the doses given to them in a most expeditious manner. I will hold each and every LGU accountable for this.”
There’s not much concern at the national level, but once the vaccines reached their regional and provincial destinations, problems arise, according to the President.
“So that even in the matter of deploying them to the proper sites eh mahina. So sabi ko gamitin na lang ang mga air assets ng PNP pati AFP.”
He suggested that once the vaccines are delivered, PNP and Air Force helicopters should take over and deliver the jabs to different municipal governments.
Responding to the President’s directive, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said he will meet with governors, mayors, as well as with the regional directors of the DOH, PNP, BFP to ask them to intensify their vaccination initiatives.
“Ating tinatawagan ang mga LGUs na dapat ay doblehin pa ang kanilang outputs sa pagbabakuna at dapat ay walang masasayang na kahit isang bakuna,” Año said.
“At katulad din po ng iyong sinabi ay titingnan po natin ito kung dapat magkaroon ng imbestigasyon sa mga mababagal sa pagpapatupad ng bakuna at makapagbigay po tayo ng kaukulang sanctions sa mga magkakaroon ng pagkukulang.”
The interior chief also vowed to investigate a Zamboanga del Sur fire that destroyed more or less about 148,000 vaccine doses.
The incident, he said, must serve as a wake up call to the local chief executives about the need to take extra care of the vaccines in their possession and the necessity of quickly administering them to the intended population.