The Daily Manila Shimbun


LGUs can negotiate with drug firms but must coordinate with task force

January 18, 2021

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said local government units (LGUs) planning to buy COVID-19 vaccines are free to negotiate with any pharmaceutical companies but they must coordinate with the National Task Force against COVID-19 before signing a deal.

“In terms of LGU procurement, the LGUs are free to negotiate with whatever pharmaceutical companies they wish to negotiate… They are open to all possible (companies) they can negotiate with,” Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

Malaya made the statement after the Cainta LGU backed out on their negotiation with a Chinese company due to complaints from their constituents.

He reminded Cainta officials to coordinate with the national task force before signing an agreement.

“We just appealed to them that before signing they should coordinate with NTF especially with vaccine cza Secretary Carlito Galvez. This is to ensure that quality of the vaccine they will procure, at the same time the distribution of it nationwide and to make sure that the vaccine they will buy will be FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved,” Malaya explained.

Since there is a national government vaccination program, Malaya reiterated that LGUs who can afford to buy vaccines will just augment supplies  to make sure all Filipinos will be vaccinated.

This is after Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said they will advise LGUs to limit their vaccine purchase up to 50 percent of their population only.

“I hope everyone will take note that before the LGU procurement, we already have a P82.5 billion under our General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the purchase of vaccine… This procurement of LGUs who have means is simply to augment what already is provided by the national govt,” Malaya said.

“This is to assure that all areas nationwide will be able to receive a vaccine that’s why there is a 50 percent cap of local government procurement,” he added. Ella Dionisio/DMS