Council okays purchase of P8.1 million anti-COVID supplies

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, authorized Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, representing the local government, to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), represented by Medical Center Chief II Dr. Ricardo B Run֮ez, Jr., for the procurement and dispensation of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs for the treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients who are bonafide residents of the city.

The crafting of the agreement was anchored on the case investigation conducted by the health department that indicated the local transmission of the Delta variant of the deadly virus which is said to be more transmissible and infectious.

As an enhanced response and proactive stance of the city in preparation for the potential surge in COVID-19 variant cases, the city government partnered with BGHMC to ensure that the drugs and other medical supplies are readily available to treat patients with mild to severe cases.

Earlier, BGHMC has been granted a compassionate special permit by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the sole authority to procure Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs which are approved as anti-viral medication against COVID-19.

The local government earmarked some P8.1 million for the procurement of the aforesaid anti-viral drugs to ensure the stability of the supply of these drugs in preparation for the projected surge in COVID-19 cases once the Delta variant will be transmitted in the city.

Further, the city pledged to provide the aforesaid funding support to BGHMC to augment its existing resources to secure the availability of both anti-viral drugs for patients who are residents of the city.

Under the agreement, the city shall release and transfer to BGHMC the allotted amount chargeable against existing sources which will be used exclusively for the purchase of the 2 anti-viral drugs; undertake the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the agreement and participate in the identified activities; refer patients for pre-qualification and assessment by BGHMC who shall be recipients of the anti-viral drugs; submit verified letter of request to BGHMC indicating therein 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; deliver and turnover to Baguio the procured anti-viral drugs among others.

On the other hand, BGHMC shall procure the aforesaid 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; 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; 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; 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.

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