COVID-19 vaccines

Iloilo province’s vaccination numbers mistagged to city

Joseph B.A. Marzan
Iloilo province’s vaccination numbers mistagged to city

VACCINATION. Minors get vaccinated in Iloilo province.

Photo from Iloilo Provincial Health Office

Iloilo province’s LGUs may not be able to meet their respective vaccination targets as accomplishments keep getting tagged to Iloilo City

Iloilo City’s high COVID-19 vaccination numbers may be because some of them are actually residents of the province, says Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief Dr Maria Socorro Quiñon.

Quiñon said in a press conference on Thursday, November 11, that Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. wrote Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas to ask for the province’s data.

She said that the province’s local government units (LGUs) may not be able to meet their respective vaccination targets as accomplishments were tagged to Iloilo City.

“I would like to appreciate and thank the city of Iloilo for vaccinating our provincial population. However, if you are vaccinated in [Iloilo City], you are listed. So even if you are from the province, it becomes an accomplishment of Iloilo City,” said Quiñon.

“We are a bit concerned about that, especially that the DOH has set targets. For example, in Leganes, Oton, Pavia, Santa Barbara, and Zarraga, it would be difficult for them to reach 70%, because many of their residents are being vaccinated in the city,” she added.

Iloilo City is the independent capital of the province.

The IPHO chief also said that there must be unbundling by the DICT central office before their numbers could be formally tagged separately from Iloilo City.

“It would be difficult for us if indeed, we have actually already reached 70% of our eligible population. So we cannot reconcile unless the DICT unbundles [the vaccination data]. Hopefully, with the DOH and DICT, we can be able to reconcile that,” she stated.

But a DICT official anonymously told Rappler that encoding and editing the data was up to the LGUs.

“LGUs are the ones who encode the [COVID vaccination] data. DICT has no capability to edit. If there is need to change, only LGU can make changes,” the DICT official said.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas admitted to Rappler via Viber that the city’s COVID vaccination data was not segregated.

This was despite the city being open to non-residents being vaccinated in its mega sites, more recently including minors studying in the city or are children of city workers.

The mayor even took pride in the city’s vaccination accomplishments, which the economic nonprofit Go Negosyo said was at 92.11%.

DOH-Western Visayas data as of 3 am, November 11, showed that 318,525 persons have been fully vaccinated in Iloilo City, translating to 95.03% of the national government’s local target population of 335,172.

Iloilo province, meanwhile, has had 420,742 fully vaccinated persons, or 29.04% of the 1.45 million target population. –Rappler.com

Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist from Iloilo City and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.