Pres. Duterte says LGUs can procure COVID-19 vaccines as long as these have FDA clearance

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is welcomed by Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan upon his arrival at Jolo Airport in Jolo, Sulu on January 22, 2021. ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte said that local government units (LGUs) can procure their own vaccines against COVID-19 as long as these had passed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Duterte said he sees nothing wrong with LGUs getting their own vaccines, but that they have to follow the requirement, which is clearance from the FDA.

“Now, let me be very clear. Doon sa mga local governments, Sakur, wala akong objection kung magbili ang local government para iturok doon sa mga tao. Okay ‘yan. Walang inggitan ‘to, puro tayo gobyerno,” he said addressing Sulu governor Abdusakur Tan.

Ang akin lang is that kung ano man ang i-ano ninyo, i-vaccinate, just clear it with the FDA. Lahat naman dumadaan talaga diyan eh. So it’s a mandatory requirement. Other than that, I have nothing to do. That’s a requirement of law, sunod lang tayo,” he said.

The national government has been partnering with local governments in securing vaccine doses from pharmaceutical companies through government to government deals.

-Tripartite deal with national gov’t, pharma firms-

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., said that LGUs must coordinate with the national government thru the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and the Department of Health.

This is why a tripartite agreement is recommended for LGUs with the national government in dealing with pharmaceutical companies.

The FDA also said that pharmaceutical companies cannot sell directly to local governments since the emergency use authorization (EUA) issued for vaccines is not meant to be used for commercial transactions.

“This means that manufacturers cannot sell directly to the LGUs nor to any entity, unless they are under the vaccine initiative of the National Government,” a DOH statement said.

-Support for Senate resolution for LGUs to buy own vaccines-

On Thursday, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, President Duterte’s former aide, expressed his support for a Senate resolution allowing local government units to buy their own COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents.

With the guidance of the national government, Go said that this should expedite the process of procuring sufficient supply of safe and effective vaccines for all Filipinos.

At least two senators — Imee Marcos and Ralph Recto — had already filed separate resolutions urging the national government to allow LGUs to procure vaccines against COVID-19 for their constituents.

(Eagle News Service)