By Heidi Nicodemus
In this file photo, a police officer receives his first dose of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine against the coronavirus at the Navotas Fish Port in Navotas City.
ADMITTING there were unnecessary hitches in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines despite the increasing number of deliveries being made recently, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to sanction local government units (LGUs) and local chief executives who are not performing well in relation to the national vaccination program being implemented in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
According to the chief executive, he had already ordered (DILG) secretary (Eduardo) Año to impose the necessary sanctions against LGUs and LCEs who are found to be remiss or not using the doses given to them in the most expeditious manner.
“I will hold each and every LGU accountable for this,” the former Davao City mayor warned in a taped public address detailing the latest developments in the government’s pandemic response.
Amidst the slow progress of the vaccine rollouts and the problems faced by LGUs in their vaccination efforts, Duterte admitted that there was what he called ‘fault lines’ in the government’s inoculation program, especially in the deployment of vaccines in the provincial and regional level.
“I don’t know where we are lacking in the deployment of vaccines. Here in NCR, it’s okay. The problem is with the provincial and regional level,” he noted.
“So that even in the matter of deploying them to the proper sites eh mahina,” he added.
In ending, the president disclosed that he has ordered concerned agencies of government to make sure that LGUs receive enough daily vaccine supply as the government aims to administer one million doses or more every day. In addition, he likewise said that he is allowing the use of police and military’s air assets in the delivery of the vaccines to provinces and municipalities.
“With this, LGUs should ensure there are enough vaccinators. I hope the local governments, the mayors would take time to attend to this problem of delay,” he concluded.
(Photo courtesy: Reuters)