Cebu City dads want Covovax vaccines paid upon delivery not ahead
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City officials are in agreement on the need to purchase P100 million worth of the Covovax vaccines developed by Novavax and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII).
But they remain undecided on the terms of the purchase.
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the City Council’s budget committee chairperson, has expressed concern on the need to release full payment for the purchase as soon as a certificate is issued for its shipment here, an arrangement which the national government made with the vaccine manufacturer.
Garcia said that if the city were to have its way, they wanted to only make partial payment of 50 percent ahead of the delivery and pay the remaining balance as soon as the vaccines arrive.
Councilor Nestor Archival, the Council’s minority floor leader, said there was also a need for the supplier to look for a storage facility that is compatible with their vaccines ahead of its shipment to Cebu City.
The two concerns were among the items which Council members raised during their a special session with the vaccine’s distributors on Friday, March 12, and during a meeting that followed.
During the same special session on Friday, Council members passed a resolution to authorize Mayor Edgardo Labella to already sign the term sheet, the first step in the city’s negotiation for the Covovax vaccine purchase.
Earlier, the City Council approved the purchase of AstraZeneca from the United Kingdom and India’s Covovax from the city’s P400 million allocation for the COVID-19 vaccines.
The purchase is in addition to the at least 7,200 doses of Sinovac that arrived here for the inoculation of medical frontliners.
However, negotiations are not yet final since Covovax that will be distributed by Faberco Life Sciences, Inc. (Faberco) in the Philippines, is yet to secure an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration.
Also, Garcia said, there is a need for the city to make representations with the national government on the need to renegotiate provisions of the tripartite agreement that will require full payment ahead of the vaccines delivery.
“At first, katong terms nga ilang gisubmit nato, nireklamo ko kay mafull payment atong bayad nila and then wala pa nila ma ship ang vaccines diri sa Cebu City. Unsa man nang klasiha nga ni full payment na ta unya naa pa sa manufacturer ang vaccines?” said Garcia.
(When they submitted the terms [of the purchase], I already raised a concern on the need to make full payment because how can we do this when the vaccines are yet to arrive in Cebu City? What kind of an arrangement is this that we are required to make full payment to the manufacturer?)
Garcia said that until such time that their concerns are heard by the national government, the city’s vaccine purchase will have to be delayed. / dcb
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