Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has recently signed contracts with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca based on the authority given her by the 19th Davao City Council.

Duterte bared this during her Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) program on Monday afternoon, January 11.

“Ang latest pirmado na tanang contracts gipangayo sa atoa sa AstraZeneca. Gitagaan na ta og authority sa SP na mupirma (We already signed the contracts asked of us by AstraZeneca. The Sangguniang Panlungsod has given us the authority to sign),” the mayor said.

She, however, said only AstraZeneca will publicly announce or create avenues to present the agreements it made with the city government of Davao.

She also said that the negotiations with the British manufacturer were seamless, adding, “Wala man mi’y problema sa ilaha kay as early as October nagsulat na ta sa ilaha sa atong interest nga mupalit og bakuna sa ilaha (We didn’t have any problem dealing with AstraZeneca as we wrote them early October, signifying our interest to buy vaccines from them).”

Duterte added that the Task Force Covid-19 Davao City recommended a massive information dissemination campaign on the COVID-19 vaccine to allay the fears of Dabawenyos.

The city government of Davao, according to her, will have to develop COVID-19 vaccine information materials if nothing is produced from other sources.

Meanwhile, her supposed meeting with another vaccine maker scheduled on January 8 was reset as the manufacturer also had a meeting with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

She did not name the vaccine developer as she would need their permission to do so. 

Duterte reiterated the need for the city to negotiate with other vaccine makers 

since no company can promise nor commit to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in bulk.

She earlier said that the city targets to immunize 1.2 million Dabawenyos to achieve the herd of immunity in Davao City as recommended by experts.

“Kung isalig nato sa isa ka kumpanya lang ang bakuna basin dugay madeliver noh maabtan pa pila ka tuig (We might be waiting for years if we just rely on purchasing vaccines from one company),” she said, adding that she is very much interested in how many vaccines will be allocated to the city by the national government.

She continued, “Importante ang forecasting kung pila ihatag sa atoa sa national government. Lisod pagkakaron pila atong i-budget we don’t know how much or how many will come from the national government. Interesado ko makabalo kung pila jud aron kita makaplano jud kung pila atong pun-an (Forecasting is important on how many vaccines will be given to us by the national government. It’s difficult to allocate a budget when we don’t know how much or how many will come from the national government. I’m really interested to know how many vaccines will be allocated to us so that we would know how many we need to augment).”

The city’s COVID-19 immunization program, as mentioned by Duterte in her DCDR program on January 8, will augment the national government’s program.

The 19th Davao City Council’s Committee on Health is set to hold a public committee hearing on January 11 and 14 for the ordinance on the implementation of the city’s COVID-19 immunization program, which was passed on first reading on January 4.

Duterte said AstraZeneca was the first vaccine manufacturer ready to negotiate with local government units (LGUs) such as Davao City. The city, however, is not buying vaccines directly from AstraZeneca but through the national government as the three entities committed to a tripartite agreement.

She hopes that the city can negotiate with other manufacturers to ensure the needed COVID-19 vaccines for Dabawenyos that’s why she earlier said the city has not identified any budget ceiling for it. CIO