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ITOGON, Benguet – The municipal government recently received from Itogon-Suyoc Resources Inc. (ISRI) some one thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccines as the mining company’s donation to help in providing additional vaccines that will be inoculated to the members of the priority sectors who should be vaccinated. The donation was formally turned over to Mayor Victorio Palangdan by ISRI officer-in-charge Dr. Eric S. Andal.
ISRI, a subsidiary of publicly listed Apex Mining Company, Inc., is the first private company in the region to donate a significant number of doses of available vaccines to the local government to help in speeding up the roll out of the mass vaccination program.
Aside from the vaccines, ISRI has procured a bio-ref that will be turned over to Itogon’s municipal health office to help in providing adequate cold chain facilities to store the municipality’s supply of vaccines.
“We are grateful to ISRI for the timely donation of vaccines for us to be able to inoculate more of our constituents wanting to be vaccinated against the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We hope that other companies will replicate what ISRI has done to help in achieving the desired population protection and eventual herd immunity of our population the soonest,” Mayor Palangdan stressed. The local chief executive pointed out that what is important is that the government will be able to ensure the health and safety of the people, especially with the emergence of the more infectious Delta variant, for Itogon to start the gradual and safe revival of the local economy because something must be done to start moving forward from the pandemic.
For his part, Andal stipulated that the donated vaccines are part of the ISRI’s contribution to the smooth rollout of the mass vaccination programs of their host communities. After all, the health and safety, not only of their employees, but also of the people in their host communities is what matters. The ISRI official also thanked Itogon’s Regional Health Unit (RHU) for support and assistance in ISRI’s vaccination rollout for its employees.
Andal added that donations of vaccines to other communities like Mankayan and La Trinidad and (Benguet or Baguio) will follow as soon; ISRI is just awaiting delivery of the vaccines from its supplier.
Earlier, the government, through the inter-agency task force on emerging infectious diseases, required private companies to procure available vaccines for their employees and donate 50 percent of their allotted vaccines to the host LGUs as part of their contributions to the ongoing implementation of the aggressive mass vaccination in the different parts of the country.
ISRI is one of the large-scale mining companies operating in Itogon that provides employment opportunities for the indigenous peoples (IPs), contributes to the growth and development of host and neighboring communities and local governments and helps in the preservation and the protection of the environment. By Dexter A. See