A growing list of local government units (LGUs) in the country has already announced free COVID-19 vaccines to its residents.
First to announce was the city of Manila followed by Cainta, Makati, and Pasig.
On Dec. 31, 2020, Manila City Mayor Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso launched a website where Manila residents may register for the free COVID-19 vaccines.
The doses, which will be coming from US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and British-Swedish AstraZeneca, will be administered to registered residents in two doses within a four-week interval.
In an interview over ANC on Jan. 4, Moreno said that his city has initially allocated P200 million for the project five months prior to its launch.
“Ang pera namin, naitabi na namin mga five months ago pa—P200 million. ‘Yan ay hindi lang batas, kundi nailagay na namin sa bangko, preparation. Hopefully, which is nangyari naman sa awa ng Diyos, nakakuha ng maaga ng bakuna,” he said.
“Now having said that, thanks to Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, naitabi na namin ‘yan at nakipag-ugnayan agad kami sa malalaking pharmaceutical companies na kilala sa mundo. One of those is Pfizer and the other one is AstraZeneca . So we’ve been talking to them since July. Awa ng Diyos, namumunga naman ang aming talks.”
His office has likewise prepared an additional contingency budget.
“In fact, just for the record, the City of Manila already signed an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) with the two companies mentioned—200 million pesos. Now it’s 250 million. And if needed, we might go up to 1 billion pesos kasi meron kaming ginawa sa budget ng 2021 na puwedeng dalhin doon kung saka-sakaling kakailanganin. This is on top of the national government’s effort to provide the City of Manila as one of the beneficiaries of 1,600 municipalities and cities in the company," said Domagoso.
Dagupan City Mayor Mark Brian Lim will procure vaccine for the city's resident with a budget of P10 million as initial funding.
“Yesterday, we already submitted a letter to the IATF stating that Dagupan is ready to buy vaccines worth PHP10 million, initially. We have a spare fund if we will need more. We also stated that, specifically, we wanted to acquire AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna because of its high efficacy and the price is lower,” he said in an interview on Dec. 30, 2020.
Next to frontliners, the city will prioritize giving the vaccines to senior citizens.
“If you look at the city’s morbidity, most of those fatalities were 59 years old and above. We have to look at the senior citizens. The protocols for the vaccination is pretty straight forward. If we will look at what they are doing in the United States and the United Kingdom, front-liners and senior citizens or elderly, especially those who are at the home of the aged, are being prioritized,” he said.
The municipality of Cainta is eyeing to vaccinate all 310,000 of its residents using local funds combined with the P150 million Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to be provided by the national government.
Cainta Mayor Kit Nieto confirmed this in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo on Sunday, Jan. 3.
“‘Yung health services at social services funds namin will be allocated substantially sa procurement nito. And beyond that, we’ll be expecting executive orders from the national government allowing us to touch the internal revenue allotment that they would give us, which is an amount that would be sufficient for us to cover the 100% population ng Cainta in the event that the COVID-19 vaccine would be available to us,” Nieto said.
The mayor said priority will be given to health workers, frontliners from various government agencies, and senior citizens.
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay has earmarked 1 billion pesos for their city’s vaccination program, which will cover all citizens of Makati. She announced it in a series of tweets on Monday.
“Libreng COVID-19 vaccine para sa LAHAT ng #ProudMakatizens. Naglaan kami ng P1 Billion para tiyakin na walang gagastusin ang bawat Makatizen na mabibigyan ng bakuna. Libre. Ligtas. Para sa lahat,” she said.
Binay announced on Jan. 11 that the city government has purchased one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We intend to vaccinate all Makatizens, including real property owners, business owners and non-registered voters who reside in the city. We want them to be safe from the virus. We are aiming for 100-percent vaccination,” she said.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has allocated P300 million for the procurement of vaccines for their city.
“Sa ngayon po nakapaglaan kami ng roughly P300 million para makabili ng mga vaccines pero itong figure na ito maaari pang madagdagan,” he said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo on Jan. 4. “Basta may FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval okay naman po sa'min 'yun. The higher the efficacy mas gusto natin 'yun, kahit sino naman po siguro.”
The mayor said that priority will be given to healthcare workers and senior citizens.
"Kung ilan po ang available sa market at kung ilan ang kaya ng budget, gagawin po natin. I assure everyone that we will be very transparent with our procurement process once may presyo na, kung ilan, anong brand (there's a set price, number of doses, and brand),” he added.
Mayor Beng Climaco announced on Jan. 4 that the city is allocating an initial amount of P200 million for its vaccination program that will cover 694,696 or 70% of its 992,423 residents.
On Jan. 11, Climaco signed an agreement for the purchase of 410,000 doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca. The acquired doses will benefit 205,000 of the city's entire population.
It amounted to $2.050 million or equivalent to P100 million. The remaining half of the budget will be used for other vaccine brands.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora announced Monday that they are adding P50 million pesos to the funds to be provided by the national government for their vaccination program.
According to Zamora, the national government informed Metro Manila mayors that the booster shots will be available in the country from April to June 2021.
"Noong nakaraang linggo, kami po ay nagkaroon ng meeting kasama ang Metro Manila Council na binubuo ng 17 mayors ng Metro Manila pati po ang IATF. At ang impormasyong ibinigay sa amin ay within second quarter ng taong ito ay magkakaroon na ng bakuna," Zamora said in San Juan City, Philippines' Facebook Live video.
"At kami po ay inabisuhan na magparehistro na ng mga San Juaneñong gusto magpabakuna para pagdating ng bakuna, alam na natin kung sino ang uunahin," he added.
The mayor said that residents may register online through the link or QR code on his social media accounts, or offline in their health center or barangay hall.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has allotted P1 billion from the city's 2021 budget for the procurement of 750,000 doses of vaccines from a "reputable multinational pharmaceutical company," the local government wrote in a statement released Jan. 4.
“We are ready to purchase. After implementing our test, isolate, and treat strategy, vaccination is our game plan now. This free vaccination program will definitely complete our efforts against this deadly virus,” Belmonte said.
The vaccination program will be led by Quezon City's Task Force Vax to Normal and will prioritize "the city's "10,000 health workers, 300,000 senior citizens, 20,000 adult persons with disabilities, and other priority sectors as recommended by the World Health Organization."
Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez has set aside P250 million for their vaccination program that would benefit 300,000 of the city's residents.
"Our funds are ready in case a vaccine for the dreaded disease is already in the country anytime soon," Olivarez said. "We are targeting half of the city's present population to be vaccinated as soon we are able to purchase doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021."
First takers are health workers, essential service providers, security and traffic personnel, and 59,000 senior citizens from 16 barangays.
City Treasurer Dr. Anthony Pulmano added that the city has an additional "stand-by budget" of P1 billion that they plan to loan from the Landbank of the Philippines.
"If the need arises, we are planning to loan P1 billion additional fund from Landbank for the vaccination program of the city government which at the same time help the national government in shouldering the budget for vaccination of majority of Filipinos," he said.
Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan is planning to launch a vaccination program that would benefit every resident of his city using P125 million local funds in addition to the national government's budget.
"This is to augment ang bakunang ilalaan sa ating lungsod ng Pamahalaang Nasyunal. Ito ay upang matiyak natin na kung kulangin ang ilalaan ng national government ay may nakahanda tayong pambili, upang matiyak na bawat mamamayan ng Caloocan ay mababakunahan nang sa gayon ay matiyak ang kaligtasan ng lahat," Malapitan said in a Facebook post on Jan. 4.
It is a plan, he said, that his office has been pursuing since October last year. "Matagal na tayong nakipag-ugnayan sa pamamagitan ng pagsulat sa pharmaceutical companies para masiguro na makakakuha tayo ng bakuna tulad ng Pfizer at Astrazenica, subalit hihintayin pa rin natin kung anuman ang aprubadong bakuna mula sa Food and Drug Administration at ng national government," he added.
"Hindi ako mangingimi na ipambili ng Covid-19 vaccine ang lahat ng pondo ng Caloocan basta maibigay lamang ito ng libre sa ating mga mamamayan," the mayor said.
Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos committed P200 million from their 2021 budget to the distribution of vaccines to Mandaluyong residents.
The city's public information office announced this on Facebook on Jan. 4.
The program will be led by Abolos' committee who will ensure that all constituents with be provided with the booster. "Pipilitin namin, sa abot ng aming makakaya at sa pakikipagtulungan ng bawat isa, na mabakunahan ang bawat Mandaleño," the mayor said.
Antipolo City Mayor Andrea Ynares pledged P300 million for the city's vaccination program slated for the "second to the third quarter of 2021."
In a Facebook post on Jan. 5, Ynares said that the vaccines, which were already ordered last year, will be given only to those who would want to take the shots. "Nauunawaan namin ang pangamba ng iba dahil sariwa pa sa ating mga isipan ang dulot ng side effects ng bakunang Dengvaxia. Ang libreng COVID vaccination program po ay magiging voluntary para po sa mga Antipolenyong nais magpa bakuna," Ynares wrote.
She urges residents to stay tuned for more updates on the program while the city's health team is laying its groundwork. "Naka handa na po ang ating health team para sa roll-out sa 2nd o 3rd Quarter of 2021," she said. "Standby lang po sa mga susunod na abiso kung paano ang magiging roll-out at implementation. We have allotted P300 Million for the program."
Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano has allocated P1 billion for the city's vaccine rollout plan which, he revealed, they have been organizing since September last year.
“As early as September, we have already started planning for vaccination, it will complement our other ongoing anti-COVID programs like our aggressive mass testing and treatment," he said in a statement on Jan. 5.
Cayetano noted that the program will cover all residents of Taguig and will be implemented through vaccine stations and the use of citizen IDs.
"We are working closely with the Joint Task Force and the Department of Health for the allotment of vaccine for Taguig but also already talking to suppliers for our own procurement once we are given the green light. We are also set to launch our model vaccine stations and out citizens ID this January. Both are important components of vaccine rollout plan," he added.
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian earmarked P150 million pesos for the vaccination of his city's constituents.
The mayor told ANC on Jan. 5 that the city can increase its budget up to P250 million if it is allowed to realign developmental funds for COVID-19 response like last year.
Asked when he's planning to start the program, Gatchalian replied, "Sana July, sana middle of this year. I think 6 months down the road is a fair number to look at. I always believe haste makes waste."
Oroquieta City Mayor Lemuel Acosta announced on Jan. 6 that the city is allocating funds for the free vaccination of its 60,000 constituents aged 18 years old and above.
Four days later, the mayor signed a deal with AstraZeneca for the advance purchase of 120,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses for the residents.
"We ordered 120, 000 doses to vaccinate all residents of Oroquieta City, as the vaccine is administered in two doses," he said.
Acosta added that the order will be sufficient for the city's 50,000 registered voters. The other 10,000 doses will be allocated for non-registered residents.
Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez has budgeted P350 million for the city's vaccination program that would benefit 80 percent of the city's residents.
"I want a 100-percent coverage, but the sum might just initially cover around 80 percent because there will be other expenses like syringes, cotton, alcohol, storage, etc.," Gomez said in a statement posted on the city government's Facebook page.
The vaccination program will be implemented by the Ormoc City Covid-19 Vaccine Council (ORCOVAC) created by the mayor on Dec. 29, 2020.
Gomez vowed to prioritize the purchase of the vaccines, similar to how the city allocated much of its budget on COVID-19 response last year.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia is ready to spend P300 million of the city's 2021 budget for the booster shots of its residents.
On Jan. 7, Leonardia told CNN Philippines that they already signed a confidential agreement with AstraZeneca for the city’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
While the mayor deemed it's too early to predict how many of its 614,000 residents would receive the vaccine, he said that the national government advised them that "70 to 80 percent is already good for her community."
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro has alloted P82.7 million for their vaccination program from the city's P2.3 billion 2021 budget.
“We have a budget allocation of PHP 82.7 million which was approved last November 2020 to procure the vaccine,” Teodoro said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.
The city will prioritize healthcare workers and the working population for the immunization against COVID-19.
“'Yung mga economically active at socially mobile, gagawin namin, in partnership sa retail, industrial and manufacturing, small and medium scale [enterprises]. Our targeted sector is the working population so we can sustain economic activities,” he added.
Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco said the city would set aside an initial P20 million for vaccines, ABS-CBN News reported.He said the amount may increase depending on supplies they could attain from the national government.
Earlier this month, Tiango conducted a survey to verify if his constituents are willing to be vaccinated because the local government did not want to waste its resources.
The results, he said, showed that they agree to be vaccinated as long as the vaccines they prefer—mostly Pfizer and Moderna—will be used.
Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar pledged P200 million for the free vaccination of Las Piñas residents, the city government announced on Jan. 7.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has earmarked P200 million for the initial procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.
In a Facebook post, the mayor said that his office would look for "ways and means" to vaccinate all. residents of the city using the 600,000 doses acquired from the pharmaceutical company.
Davao Mayor Inday Sara Duterte said that her city government has no budget ceiling for the COVID-19 vaccines it is planning to procure for 1.2 million of its 1.8 million total residents. She announced this during her regular Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) program on Jan. 8.
According to the mayor, the city government only need to vaccinate 1.2 million residents to achieve herd immunity. The city government will then complete all 2.4 million doses by signing deals from various pharmaceutical companies.
Duterte continued (translated in English), “Assuming that we have a population of 1.8 million, we need to immunize 1.2 million. If each vaccine has two doses, we would need 2.4 million vaccines and no manufacturer can deliver that to any city. We will talk to as many vaccine makers, especially those who have intent to apply for emergency use authorization or product certification in the Philippines."
In the same radio boradcast, Duterte also noted that the city’s immunization program will only augment that of the national government.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong has PHP200 million ready for the vaccination of the city's residents aged 18 years old and above.
In the statement released by the Baguio Pubic Information Office on Jan. 8, Magalong said that he already received commitments from two international pharmaceutical companies for a total of 200,000 vaccine doses.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has set aside 170 million pesos initial budget for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines "once they are available and approved for use in the country," according to the city's website.
The local government is also set to launch an information campaign to raise awareness on the immunization program, following OCTA Research’s report that only 25 percent of respondents in Metro Manila are willing to be vaccinated.
The city government added that it ill form a COVID-19 vaccine task force to oversee the local immunization program.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc has set aside a portion of the city's P46 Million COVID-19 fund for the initial procurement of vaccines.
The program will benefit 60,000 residents or about 10 percent of Vigan's population because the province have low infection rate, the mayor said.
"Relatively speaking, our infection rates are low. It may not be practical or economical to vaccinate everyone. We still have many areas that haven't had any COVID-19 cases," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Mayor Carlo Medina announced on Jan. 10 that the city government has signed an agreement with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines, NTF, and DOH for its advance purchase of 100,000 to 120,000 doses of COVID-19 AZD1222 vaccine
The doses, he said, will be administered to all residents of Vigan aged 18 years old and above.
Banner photos from Isko Moreno Domagoso and Abby Binay Facebook accounts, onecainta.gov.ph, and pasigcity.gov.ph.