News Release

Iloilo City thanks national government for COVID-19 assistance

The City of Iloilo, which recently experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases, received from the national government today, July 1, 2021, a delivery of 50,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines and other medical equipment.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr, who was in Iloilo for the turnover of the vaccines and medical equipment, asked the Ilonggos for patience and understanding on the limited vaccine allocations that Iloilo City and the province of Iloilo has been receiving.

“I understand po talaga na marami po tayong kakulangan lalong-lalo na po pagdating sa bakuna, pero hindi lang po tayo ang may ganyang problema dito sa Iloilo, the entire country and majority of the world have similar problems,” said Secretary Roque in a press briefing held in Iloilo City.

The Palace official also explained that the allocation of vaccines is really dependent on the population and incidence of COVID-19 in an area. Secretary Roque said that similar to assigning the risk or community classification of areas, there is also a formula that is being followed in determining the allocation of vaccines for a given area or areas.

“Kung dati po walang prayoridad ang Iloilo City, ngayon po meron ng prayoridad because of the recent surge. Kaya nga po nagkaroon tayo ng tinatawag na NCR plus eight plus 10. Kasama na po sa areas na mabibigyan ng prayoridad ang Iloilo City, and this explains why medyo malaki po yung nadeliver natin ngayon na 50,000 na Sinovac,” said Secretary Roque.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas expressed his gratitude to the national government and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the assistance provided to the city to help address the surge in cases, including the 50,000 Sinovac vaccines, ventilators, high flow nasal cannula, and additional PPEs for medical frontliners.

Mayor Treñas also thanked the Department of Health (DOH) for sending Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega and other DOH officials to help improve Iloilo City’s healthcare capacity.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Representative Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda also thanked Sec. Roque and the DOH officials for their presence, which she said made Ilonggos felt the presence of the national government as well. Rep. Baronda likewise thanked Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment for the P50-M assistance for Iloilo City’s transport sector.

With regard to the COVID-19 situation and Iloilo City’s healthcare capacity, Usec. Vega said that Iloilo is currently at moderate risk, which means that the two-week growth rate is already negative but daily attack rate is still high. Usec. Vega said that the problem is that healthcare utilization rate, especially intensive care units, are at critical risk.

Vega said that he and other DOH officials will be talking to Iloilo City’s medical directors of hospitals on how best to adjust to the surge in cases and to come up with better strategies to ensure that critical and severe cases can receive critical care management.

Spokesperson Roque, Usec Vega, Mayor Treñas, and Rep. Baronda were also joined in the press briefing by DILG Regional Director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Romeo A. Ong, and DOH Regional Director Dr. Adriano Suba-an.

On another matter, Sec. Roque said that although face-to-face classes are still not allowed, the government’s nutrition program continues. “I was the author in the 17th Congress of the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa mga kabataan. Although wala po tayong face-to-face, tuloy-tuloy naman po yung programang yan. Dinedeliver po sa ating mga kabataan yung masustansyang pagkain at dinagdagan pa po natin ng libreng gatas na programa para doon sa kulang [ang] timbang,” Roque said. ### OPS-PCOO