Naga needs P1 B for its own supply of Covid-19 vaccines

By Jason B. Neola


Some P 1 billion is needed by the Naga City government to procure its own supply of Covid-19 vaccines to immunize its constituents.


Mayor Nelson Legacion bared this information to media practitioners on Monday, Dec. 28, following the pronouncements made by the Department of Health (DOH) that Malacañang is considering whether to allow local government units (LGUs) to procure their own supply of the vaccines.


“The idea is agreeable and good enough to consider but we, in the LGUs, have to raise a proposition to the national government that we be provided with appropriate funds to realize the plan,” Legacion said.


Legacion said that not all LGUs have the capability to procure their own supply of the vaccine not only because of their low income but also because of the spending they made that went beyond the normal limit due to the implementation of various Covid-19 responses.


On the part of LGU Naga, Legacion said that assuming that each vaccine costs P2,000, the city government will need no less than P880 million to inoculate its 220,000 residents. The amount is only for one dose of the vaccine. The World Health Organization said two doses are required for each person to ensure that the vaccine will be effective.


He said that it is the primary mandate of the national government through the DOH to procure Covid-19 vaccines and not the LGUs, as in the case of purchasing vaccines for measles and polio in the recently conducted Chikiting Ligtas immunization.


Legacion said the city government incurred a lot of expenses due to the crisis brought about by the pandemic, which even resulted to a revenue shortfall of some P200 million 2020.


He also attributed the financial difficulties of the city to the ill-effects of Typhoons “Quinta,” “Rolly” and “Ulysses” and the African Swine Flu that wrought havoc to residents and businesses in the city.


Legacion said that the city government foresees that it cannot yet fully recover financially in 2021 due to the crises’ negative impact on revenues that are being generated locally.