The Quezon City council has been asked to set aside P500 million for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines when they are available in the market.
Councilor Winnie Castelo made the appeal in Ordinance CC-333 he filed Monday as he suggested that the P500 million be included in the city’s 2021 budget.
“We have to ready the funds so that when vaccines are developed and marketed, we could immediately buy them for qualified city residents,” Castelo said.
He said the national government is already preparing to procure the vaccine and local government units like Quezon City should do the same.
“We also have to prepare a vaccination program. I am suggesting that inoculation be free for poor residents and senior citizens,” he said.
Castelo noted that scores of countries like the United States, United Kingdom, China, Brazil, and France, and pharmaceutical companies are now on their final stages of trial of their vaccines.
“We hope it will be available sooner than later so we can overcome this pandemic,” he said, noting that President Duterte has asked China to give priority to Filipinos when its vaccine is available.
He appealed to the city council to approve the proposed appropriation as soon as possible.