THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sunday commended the innovative efforts of some local government units (LGUs) in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to their respective localities to encourage their constituents to register and get jabbed as well as increase vaccine confidence among the public.
“We are pleased that LGUs are thinking of innovative ways or ‘out of the box’ strategies to enjoin their constituents to get the COVID-19 shots. Sa ngayon, bakuna lang ang maaaring tumuldok sa pandemyang ito. Mas maraming nagpapabakuna, mas maaga tayong makakaraos mula sa pandemyang ito,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
In San Luis, Pampanga, there is the “Baka Para sa Bakuna” project where a cow will be raffled every month starting July to qualified vaccinated residents. In Sucat, Muntinlupa, residents who get vaccinated are eligible to join a weekly raffle where they can win 25 kilograms of rice.
In Bulacan, Baliwag Pagbangon Census 2021 was conducted to prepare the municipality’s demographic profile for vaccination efforts and to assess the personal views of the residents on vaccines while in Biñan, Laguna, the LGU conducted a house-to-house vaccine registration of senior citizens and indigent families.
In Taguig, residents are highly encouraged to enroll in TaguigTRACE to secure their vaccine registration and streamline the city government’s vaccination process while in Malabon City, individuals who register for vaccination are informed of their schedule and place of vaccination through SMS.
The provincial government of Rizal engaged with the private sector for the use of cold storage facilities free of charge. In San Mateo, Rizal, the LGU was able to get free use of SM City San Mateo Cinemas 1-3 as vaccination centers.
In San Quintin, Abra, they have arranged to store the vaccines in a freezer with the prescribed temperature at RHU San Quintin, Abra. The LGU has a generator set in case of power interruption.
“The out-of-the box initiatives by some LGUs can be replicated by other LGUs so they too can fast track their COVID-19 vaccination efforts. By taking giant leaps, we can all move forward towards achieving the added layer of protection against COVID-19 and its variants,” he emphasized.
“Our national goal is actually 70 million Filipinos out of the population of over 100+ million and we are hoping to secure about 148 million doses in 2021. We need to strategize our efforts in order for us to reach our target and successfully move to the new normal,” Año said.
DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya urged LGUs to ensure regular updating of their respective COVID-19 data in the Vaccine Monitoring System (VMS) as this will give the true scope of the national COVID-19 vaccination program.
Malaya said LGUs should expedite encoding the needed information to the system so that the national government can make informed decisions on where to deploy the next round of vaccines or send additional manpower to help out in the vaccination program.
“Napakahalaga na updated ang mga impormasyon sa inyong mga lugar para alam ng national government kung mayroon pa kayong supply ng bakuna, ilang tao na ang nabakunahan at ilang libo ang babakunahan pa, o kaya kailangan ba naming mag-deploy ng karagdagang tauhan para tumulong sa pagbabakuna sa mga lugar ninyo” he stressed.
In a report submitted by the DILG Central Emergency Operations Center (EOC), only 444 (27.17%) of the total 1,634 cities and municipalities have completed encoding their data to the VMS, with 1,190 LGUs failing to update their data.
Malaya said that failing to update information on VMS could lead to low vaccination level, inaccurate deployment of supply, or worse, vaccine irregularities like the alleged slot-for-sale.