QC gov’t eyes termination of deal with Zuellig following eZConsult’s technical woes

The Quezon City government is seriously considering terminating its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corporation following a series of total or partial technical difficulties experienced by its eZConsult service, preventing residents from signing up for COVID-19 vaccination.

“Kaya natin kinuha ang serbisyo ng eZConsult ay para mapadali ang proseso ng pagpapatala ngunit ano ang gagawin natin kung ang sistema nila mismo ang ugat ng problema. The sacrifices and efforts of our medical frontliners and our residents are being compromised by this inefficient system. They committed a seamless service but they failed repeatedly. Our QCitizens deserve nothing but the best service. We have improved our system in vaccination centers where people no longer have to fall in line and be vaccinated in 30 minutes, kahit virtual pila wala sa QC as long as vaccine supply is stable and yet, eZconsult is putting all our efforts down the drain,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

“We have issued an ultimatum to Zuellig so they can improve their system quickly and provide all the deliverables. If not, we have no other choice but to find another company that can do the job quickly and efficiently,” she added.

Belmonte made the pronouncement after eZConsult suffered various technical difficulties since June 10, 2021, causing the city government’s inability to provide vaccines to its constituents in a quick and timely manner. In addition to terminating its deal with Zuellig, the Quezon City government is also mulling to file for damages against the company for failure to meet its contractual obligation to the local government by Friday (June 18, 2021) if the company fails to deliver its obligation.

“If there would be no significant improvement, we would initiate contract termination proceedings and file appropriate charges against them as deemed appropriate by our city legal counsel to enforce and protect our rights and the interest of QCitizens,” Belmonte said.

City Attorney Orlando Casimiro already wrote Zuellig Pharma Corporation, through its general manager Danilo Cahoy, demanding for liquidated damages in connection with the technical failures of eZConsult.

In his demand letter, Casimiro said that under the terms of reference of their agreement, Zuellig has the obligation to make available Information Technology services, such as registration, pre-assessment, booking and scheduling of vaccination at the patient level through digital forms.

“Failure to strictly comply with the terms of the contract shall constrain us to take all necessary legal action as may be appropriate, including both civil and criminal cases against Zuellig and its officers, for the full protection and enforcement of the Quezon City Government’s rights and interests,” Casimiro said.