Various civic groups in Bohol led by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) have banded together to pool funds for the purchase of vaccines for their employees in efforts to augment the government’s inoculation campaign, and have so far raised P20 million.
The BCCI, through a radio program over station dyRD dubbed “ChamberVac,” seeks to raise more funds and urge more companies and even private individuals to purchase vaccines with the group, said BCCI external vice president Albert Uy.
The radio segment will be aired through station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad” program from June 8 to June 17, 2021.
“This is a private sector initiative, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by way of procuring vaccines for the community…We welcome the help and support of all civic clubs, cooperatives. Ang tumong nato ani is pag raise g’yud og pondo para sa pagpamalit sa bakuna,” Uy said.
The BCCI is spearheading the program along with the Bohol Medical Society (BMS), Bohol Association of Hotel Resorts and Restaurants, Provincial Tourism Council, Panglao Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry and in partnership with the Bohol Chronicle Radio Corporation.
In the radio program’s maiden episode on Tuesday, Labb Construction contributed P800,000 while several other callers have also pledged to give several thousands of pesos.
According to Uy, the BCCI has so far started communications with various vaccine suppliers including Sinovac Biotech, Novavax and Bharat Biotech which develop the jabs called CoronaVac, Covavax and Covaxin, respectively.
Uy said that they are still conducting negotiations with the pharmaceutical firms but will prioritize those that can deliver the jabs first.
“Ang Covaxin nagsulti to sila nga naa na man tay EUA (emergency use authority) ang sulti nila is within the month of June sila but we’re still waiting for their new offer sheet bahin aning transaction. Ang Covavax nagmention to sila October, sa Sinoavac ingon to sila na within the month of June or July. Ang ato is more sa kung kinsa ang una mo abot,” said Uy.
Meanwhile, the program through the BMS is also intended to educate the public on the safety and importance of vaccination in the fight against COVID-19.
According to BMS incoming vice president Dr. Judy Piollo, the province needs to inoculate 70 percent of its total population
“Kung na vaccinate na ang 70 percent sa population maka stop na siya, or makahinay sa spread sa virus. In that way ang na vaccinate na maka protect sila indirectly sa mga taw na dili pwede e-vaccinate like children and the very ill people,” Piollo said.
As of Monday night, Bohol ranked second in the entire Central Visayas in terms of active COVID-19 cases with 1,110 ongoing infections based on data from the Department of Health.
It trailed Negros Oriental with 2,011 cases and followed by Cebu province and Siquijor which had 457 and 11 cases, respectively. (R. Tutas)