BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Evelio Leonardia has lauded the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to include local chief executives (LCEs) in the priority sectors for vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing just called me to announce the good news that the National IATF has just approved our request to classify LCEs among the priorities for vaccination,” he said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
Leonardia, the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), said the development means that the 1,634 provincial governors, city and municipal mayors as well as the 42,046 barangay chairmen all over the country will be classified as essential workers under Priority Group A4.
Based on the IATF-EID guidelines, front-line health workers in both national and local, and private and public facilities are included in Priority Group “A1” along with health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, and barangay health workers.
Senior citizens are listed under Priority Group “A2,” while persons with comorbidities are under Priority Group “A3”.
“We salute Undersecretary Densing for the very quick response because it was only on March 13 during his visit to Bacolod, when as national president of the LCP, I appealed to him to elevate this matter to the IATF,” Leonardia said, adding that Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, who is also an LCP official, supported the proposition.
He pointed out that in reality, the LCEs are also front-liners in the fight against Covid-19, and the exposure and risks they encounter daily as they serve their constituents are also very high.
“We are sure this development will inspire and encourage our LCEs to even work harder and more effectively in the implementation of our Covid-19 program, considering that we are now accelerating our efforts to vaccinate as many of our people and as fast as possible,” Leonardia added. (PNA)