Bohol governor Arthur Yap has approved a supplemental investment plan (SIP) worth P100 million for COVID-19 vaccines procurement amid fears of a new stronger virus strain spreading overseas.

According to Ven Arigo of the Provincial Information and Media Relations (PRIMER) office that the move is in anticipation of the approval of the national government of the most effective, safest vaccine that will be allowed in the Philippines.

Arigo said that Capitol’s Local Finance Committee (LFC) prepared the SIP that was included in the approved provincial annual general appropriation of P4.5 billion for 2021.

He quoted a recent Pulse Asia survey that said almost half of the Filipinos are yet not inclined to get vaccination largely for safety concerns and the level of confidence in COVID-19 shots poses a challenge to the Southeast Asian nation’s vaccine rollout delaying economic recovery of nations.

A similar pulse has been observed among Boholanos based on their reactions aired on radio programs, Arigo added.   Active COVID-19 cases in Bohol were only 18 as of January 10 the fear of the entry of the new corona virus strain to the country has kept government authorities on their toes.

The report continued that the Philippines, which has Southeast Asian’s second-worst outbreak, is targeting to inoculate more than half of its population in 2021 using 148 million doses from at least seven vaccine makers.

Arigo went on that the SIP for vaccine procurement in Bohol is also in preparation for a possibility of insufficiency of the drug to vaccinate as many Filipinos in speed time.  This was one concern raised during the zoom conference of the governor and mayors on Friday, January 8.

The vaccine investment plan is expected to be endorsed by the Provincial Development Council (PDC) for the concurrence of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. (MINERVA BC NEWMAN/ RMA News)