The Quezon City government on Tuesday night has decided to terminate its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corporation’s booking services, EzConsult, following a series of technical difficulties experienced by QCitizens.
The last straw came on Tuesday afternoon, when disgruntled QCitizens had to endure a queuing system to book a slot, with some having to wait for hours.
“We have already given Zuellig ample time to improve their system upon their request and yet their system has crashed again for the 9th time. We don’t want to cause undue stress to our constituents who only want to register for vaccination,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
The city government had recently issued an ultimatum to Zuellig for them to improve their system quickly and provide all the deliverables.
“Earlier, they reported an upgrade of their system which supposedly could already accommodate up to 50,000 users at a time. However, their system crashed again when we opened new slots. Imbes na mapadali, napabagal pa ang ating registration process. Ang nakakalungkot, taumbayan ang nagdusa, at nawalang saysay ang pagsisikap ng ating mga medical frotnliners at volunteers na ilang buwan nang nagsasakripisyo para mapabilis ang ating vaccination process,” Mayor Belmonte explained.
According to City Attorney Orlando Casimiro, Zuellig has breached their contractual obligations to the city after failing to deliver on their commitment to improve their service as previously agreed.
“The Information Technology portion of the Service Agreement with the city government will be terminated and damages will be claimed against Zuellig because of the delays, inconvenience and frustration that our QCitizens have experienced,” Atty. Casimiro said.
Under Section 9 of the agreement, Zuellig is liable to pay liquidated damages amounting to one tenth of one percent of the contract price for every day of delay until the project is completed.
Since March 27, 2021, EzConsult has reported several technical difficulties that caused the city government delays in providing vaccines to its residents in a quickly and timely manner.
The city government is also considering filing civil and criminal charges against the company for failure to meet its contractual obligation to the local government.
“We are filing appropriate charges against them through our Legal Department. We are doing this for the interest of our QCitizens and to protect their rights,” Mayor Belmonte said.
The mayor also called on the residents who are having a hard time registering on the EzConsult website to instead register at the city government-assisted QC Vax Easy portal https://qceservices.quezoncity.gov.ph/qcvaxeasy.
On the other hand, those who were able to book a slot for July 1,2,3,5 and 6 are advised to proceed to the vaccination site of their choice as scheduled.
The city government stressed that until the contract termination has been finalized, all ongoing bookings are valid.
Those scheduled for second dose should also follow the date indicated in their card, and take the jab at the same site where they had their first dose.