Quezon City on Tuesday night said it would terminate its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corp's booking services, EzConsult, due technical difficulties experienced by residents.
According to a statement, the last straw came in the form of residents having to undergo a queuing system to book a slot, resulting in some having to wait for hours. Errors have marred system bookings since it first began handling vaccine appointments in March.
"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," Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
The city government assured residents that until contract termination has been finalized, all ongoing bookings are valid. "Those scheduled for second dose should also follow the date indicated on their card, and take the jab at the same site where they had their first dose," the statement said.
The city had earlier issued an ultimatum calling for system improvements. Belmonte said Zuelling reported a system upgrade that could accommodate 50,000 concurrent users but the site crashed when the city 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 frontliners at volunteers na ilang buwan nang nagsasakripisyo para mapabilis ang ating vaccination process," Belmonte said.
"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," City Attorney Orlando Casimiro said, explaining that failure to deliver improvements is a breach of contractual obligations.
"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," Belmonte said.
The recently launched QC Vax Easy portal is recommended for residents and workers, and can be accessed online.
Individuals who were able to book slots for July 1 to 3 and July 5 to 6 may proceed to the vaccination site of their choice as scheduled.