Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said today, December 21, that he has instructed the provincial administrator to determine how much funds the Capitol can allocate for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines early next year.
The purchase will be done to augment the supply to be provided by the national government.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said they will know the amount that can be allocated by January.
“We have a lot of savings from various programs that can be allocated in the first month of 2021. We have to close our books for 2020 first,” Diaz said.
The governor already instructed him to ensure the allocation of the funds for the vaccine, he said.
Former Rep. Alfredo Benitez, provincial consultant on economic affairs, will head the procurement effort of Negros Occidental, Diaz said.
Benitez said Sunday, December 20, he is negotiating for Negros Occidental to be among the first provinces in the country to avail of COVID-19 vaccines by early next year.
He already has an agreement with the national government for the purchase of the vaccines and they are trying to negotiate with US-based Moderna or Chinese biotech Sinovac for allocations, Benitez said.
“As soon as we get an allocation I’ll bring them to Negros,” he said, adding that the provincial and national governments will pay for the vaccines.*