Baguio City, Philippines – The Baguio City Council has recently authorized the allocation of P8.1 million for the procurement of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs to treat COVID-19 patients in the city.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong is expected to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) for the purchase and dispensation of said anti-viral drugs.
Baguio Public Information Office (PIO), in a press release, said that the drugs will be exclusively given to Covid-19 patients residing in the city.
Said development, according to the PIO, is part of the city’s preparation for the more transmissible Delta Covid-19 variant, which also prompted the forging of a partnership with BGHMC to strengthen their preparedness.
PIO Baguio informed that BGHMC has earlier been granted a compassionate permit by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). BGHMC has also sole authority to purchase Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs which are approved as anti-viral medication against the virus.
Content of the agreement
The crafting of the agreement was based on the case investigation made by the Department of Health, which revealed the possible transmission of the Delta variant in the locality.
In the agreement, the city government is in charge of the release and transfer of the fund which shall solely be used for the purchase of the drugs, the conduct of monitoring and evaluation upon the implementation of the agreement, and the participation in the identified activities and referral of patients who shall receive the drugs for pre-qualification and assessment by the hospital.
Likewise, the city government has to submit a verified letter of request to BGHMC putting the names of patients to whom the anti-viral drugs will be given, ensure that the requested allocation of the drugs is given to the intended patients in the aforesaid letter, and deliver and turnover to Baguio the procured anti-viral drugs, among others.
BGHMC, for its task, shall buy the anti-viral drugs in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations, provide regular reports and updates on the procurement of the items subject of the agreement, notify the local government in writing of any changes, delay, or any concern relating to the procurement of the medicines, and treat the fund transfer as a trust liability and maintain a separate subsidiary ledger and ensure that the funds are properly utilized for the purpose for which the same is intended subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
The hospital shall issue an official receipt immediately upon receipt of the funds; administer, manage, and disburse the funds from the city for the intended purpose and in accordance with existing government accounting and auditing rules and regulations, and refund to the city any unutilized balance of the funds transferred within 10 days after the completion of the procurement of the medicines among other related duties and responsibilities.
Other measures being done by Baguio City against Covid-19
Meantime, Baguio city is also undertaking contingency plans against amidst threat of the more contagious Covid-19 virus Delta variant.
These include the implementation of stricter border restrictions and mass gathering rules, an increase of isolation centers, hospital logistics, and medicine and oxygen reserves in hospitals, and conduct of enhanced disinfection, testing, contact tracing, quarantine lockdowns, and continuous vaccination program in the city.
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