WE STRONGLY welcome the report that finally, after talking much earlier about it, Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has finally confirmed that she is now working with Astra-Seneca for the city-initiated purchase of its vaccine against the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (CoViD 19).
This the mayor did even as the senators were still debating and urging the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow all the local governments who have the means to buy directly the vaccines for their constituents. Davao City though, through Mayor Sara, already tinkered with the idea much earlier. However, it seems lost in the consciousness of the leadership possibly because the rise of the city as a top contributor to the country’s new infected individuals might have overwhelmed her thoughts.
Good thing that First District councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta picked up from where the mayor may have left unknowingly. She took up the idea in the City Council whose members were just too willing to fast track the realization of the mayor’s plan.
So, last Friday, in a special session, the Council passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to negotiate for the purchase of the CoViD vaccine. And since only Astra-Seneca responded to the invitation of the Council to shed light on their product among the vaccine manufacturers, the mayor is now talking with the said vaccine manufacturer for the city’s purchase.
In a radio interview, the mayor was ecstatic in informing the public that the first delivery of the vaccines could be done by Astra-Seneca during this first quarter. And soon after the delivery of the remaining requirements will be complied within the rest of the year.
And even as she mentioned in the interview that she may look for other sources of vaccines, she assured that there is no worry as to the funds needed to buy the same. After all, she said that the Council has given her leeway to look or increase the volume of the vaccines depending on the needs of the population on the city. And she has the flexibility to spend money since the budget has “no limit”.
Wow! That indeed is good news to the people of Davao City. And we are fortunate that the city is so blessed with so much financial resources that based on the mayor’s assurance that we have an “unlimited budget,” this CoViD 19 problem that is bothering to the extreme our city will finally be over.
We can only hope that the bureaucratic red tape that may be created as a result of the nationally-crafted regulation on the vaccine acquisition will not derail the city’s desire to have its people inoculated much earlier.
But apparently, the red tape is already rearing its ugly head. And the Senate, the institution that helped make the basis of the national regulations, is leading the way in making the red tape work. Yes, the Senate whose members appear to be more knowing in the procurement and logistics processes is questioning every way adopted by those charged in undertaking the vaccine purchase as if its members are not aware they are instrumental in the various governmental regulations mandated by the laws they have created in Congress supposedly for the purpose of safeguarding the people’s money.
Based on yesterday’s proceedings which we closely followed over television, any discerning viewer can read between the lines that the senators have their individual bet of the vaccine brand to be purchased. Of course they will be quick to deny such assumption but it’s just too obvious not to be noticed.
And the senators are asking why other countries in Asia similarly economically situated as the Philippines have already acquired their vaccines? Clearly the investigation they are conducting is providing the answer.
Well, the problem in the Philippines when responding to calamities like the CoViD 19 pandemic, there are just too many suspicious among us, that it seems no more Filipinos can be trusted with the people’s money.
They may be correct in some ways. But the situation demands for fast action, and we think that it is imperative that we just have to believe there are still few good men among us. If we do not as the investigation of the Senate seems to imply, then we might end up suffering the dire consequences.
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