January 14, 2021 @ 12:16 AM 2 days ago


OBVIOUSLY, the four local chief executives in CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela) area preferred AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company, over others especially those from China and Russia, after forging deals with it for the advance supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Mayor Oca Malapitan (Caloocan), Lenlen Oreta III (Malabon), Toby Tiangco (Navotas) and Rex Gatchalian (Valenzuela) were one in saying that they could now assure their respective constituents that vaccines will soon be made available to them.

Mayor Malapitan said the pharmaceutical firm has agreed to provide the city with 600, 000 doses as the local government has set aside an initial P150-million fund for the vaccination program.

The Caloocan mayor revealed that he is ready to set aside P1 billion as a standby fund and which can be sourced through a loan to ensure steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the residents.

In Navotas, Mayor Tiangco said AstraZeneca has agreed to provide the city with initial 100,000 doses which can benefit 50, 000 residents since two doses are needed for every individual.

He said the city council has approved the release of P20-million for the purpose.

With the vaccines expected to be available in the second quarter of 2021, Mayor Gatchalian said some 320,000 individuals will be vaccinated, which was 70% of the target population of the city (18 years old below are excluded).

“Valenzuela will be one of the first city governments to roll out the vaccines which would be administered for free to our residents,” he said.

Mayor Gatchalian said the local government has initially appropriated P150 million which was sourced from its Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund and the Quick Response Fund for the vaccine procurement.

“Of course, we are ready to set aside more funds from the city’s budget since most residents would need to be vaccinated.”

Mayor Oreta, meanwhile, said that Malabon has also allocated an initial amount of P150 million as it was similarly assured by the same pharmaceutical company of COVID-19 vaccines.

Asked why they chose only one company that will supply them the COVID-19 vaccines, the mayors said they were told that AstraZeneca’s vaccine has higher efficacy and effectiveness as compared with others which were already available in other countries.

Health workers, senior citizens, adult persons with disabilities and other priority sectors as recommended by the World Health Organization would be the first to get the shots of Covid-19 vaccines would be the priority sector, the CAMANAVA chief executives said.

They made it clear that the agreement they signed with AstraZeneca has approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Food and Drug Administration.

Navotas distributes 3K smart phones for ‘poorest-of-the-poor’ students

Despite meager income, Mayor Tiangco said the city government has managed to distribute at least 3,057 smart phones for students belonging to the poor sector to enable them to actively engage in online classes.

The beneficiaries (public elementary and high school students) were among those who declared during enrolment that they did not have their own gadget for online classes.

“We set aside P4.5-million from our Special Education Fund and realigned P9.8 million of our budget for the programs of the Navotas City Council for the Protection of Children. This enabled us to purchase 2,682 smart phones for our students.”

For his part, Rep. John Rey Tiangco donated 350 cellphones for the Tutor a Learning Child (TLC) and Support Our Students (SOS) programs.

TLC is the Navotas lawmaker’s joint project with the Department of Education-Navotas intended to assist K-12 learners who do not have anyone to guide them through the modular lessons, have reading difficulty or have no gadget for home-based learning.

SOS is a donation drive to support the needs of K-12 students, including smart phones, tablets, internet load, school supplies and others, Rep. Tiangco said.

Aside from the smart phones from the city government and Rep. Tiangco, DepEd-Navotas also received 25 unit-donation from a private organization.

Earlier, the Navotas mayor launched online games on his social media fan page to give Navoteño students an opportunity to win a gadget.

At least, 81 students, from elementary to college, have received so far, he said.