Various local government units (LGUs) will either get a reward or be sanctioned based on the pace of their vaccination program, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez said Sunday.
"We will incentivize LGUs with high accomplishments and give sanctionsto those underperforming, especially in the distribution and administration of these life-saving doses," Galvez, who is also the country's vaccine czar, said in a news release.
Galvez reiterated the government's call for LGUs to further scale up their vaccination drives, noting that full protection of most vulnerable sectors must be their top priority.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has previously issued an order directing LGUs to utilize vaccines in the “most expeditious manner” upon receipt of jab deliveries.
LGUs are also ordered to regularly monitor their vaccine inventories to avoid possible vaccine wastage, he added.
To address the vaccine hesitancy issues, Galvez said the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) is set to issue a memorandum discussing rewards and sanctions that LGUs could get based on their vaccine handling and administration efforts.
Galvez said the NTF is encouraging LGUs to craft their own localordinances that will support the nationwide call for a "no vaccine preference policy" so that all stockpiled jabs will be used up prior to expiration.
“This will be a preview, as we push for mandatory vaccination, especially of those who are highly vulnerable and residents who live in high-density populations,” he said.
Galvez cited the LGUs' vital roles in boosting the public uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of the brand. He reiterated his support for mandatory vaccination.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will help transport COVID-19 vaccines in remote areas outside Metro Manila.
In an interview on radio dzBB, PNP spokesman Col. Roderick Augustus Alba said that they will be dispersing buses, trucks, coasters, and choppers as part of the effort to deliver the vaccines in various provinces that lack supply.
The PNP also committed to deploy 117 high-speed tactical watercraft, police gunboats, fast boats, and rubber boats to help in the distribution process.
Alba said the PNP held a series of meetings with other agencies following instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte on Nov. 3 for the security forces to provide resources and support in the delivery of the vaccines.