Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso presides over a meeting (photo from Manila Public Information Office Facebook page)

Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said that he is allotting P200 million in the city’s 2021 budget to purchase the vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) once it becomes available in the market.

Domagoso made the announcement in his weekly Facebook Live program ‘The Capital Report,’ and told his viewers that the City Council is preparing for the “end game” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even though the vaccine is not yet available, he highlighted the importance for the local government to be ready once the vaccine becomes available in the next few months. 

“Ipinagpapauna ko lang ang paghahanda natin sa end game because the only end game to this is the vaccine,” the Mayor said.

“While we are trying to thrive, to survive, o magpaharimunan tayo ngayon kahit papaano, makapamuhay tayo ng maayos kahit na may COVID-19, tinitingnan na natin yung immediate future,” he added.

The mayor also shared that he is currently in contact with various pharmaceutical companies involved in the research and development of the vaccine. 

He also guaranteed that the Manila City Council, led by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Panga, is prepared to impose an ordinance appropriating the budget required for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine.  

“Ako ay nakikipag-ugnayan na sa mga malalaking pharmaceutical company, mga well-known, in fact kilala niyo yung mga kumpanya na iyon. Wala lang ako awtoridad (na maglabas pa ng ibang detalye) sapagkat ako ay nangako na amin pong itatabi ang aming napag-usapan dala ng may mga sensitibo pang bagay,” Domagoso said.

“Pero, ang puno’t dulo ng usapan namin ay gusto kong makita ‘yung timeline, at dahil doon, kapag nakita ko ‘yung trajectory ng timeline, ‘yung earlier at saka ‘yung madedelay, at least malalaman namin ano ang ilalatag nating plano for the remainders of the year with regard to suppressing the numbers, because there will be continuing infection in our community until there is a vaccine,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Manila City government’s Covid-19 mass testing operations will continue along with the deployment of walk-in testing centers and drive thru testing sites across the city.

As of this writing, the City of Manila has three walk-in testing centers located at Gat. Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital and Ospital ng Sampaloc.

Two drive thru testing sites, on the other hand, are still operational at the Kartilya ng Katipunan and at the Quirino Grandstand.

Testing is open and free for both the city’s residents and outsiders. (RJ Espartinez)