By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Citing that local chief executives should strictly adhere to the government’s vaccine priority list of groups and sectors who should receive the vaccines first against Covid-19, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go warned he and President Rodrigo Duterte will not hesitate in recommending the filing of complaints against erring government officials who will opt to be given the vaccine shots ahead of frontline workers.
Go disclosed that President Rodrigo Duterte was appalled by the actions of so-called ‘jumpers’ or those individuals who cut the line in the national vaccination program and this has prompted him to ask the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as well as the Department of Health (DoH) to investigate the reported incidents of some mayors who got inoculated ahead of health workers and front-liners.
“Hindi po katanggap-tanggap na may makikita tayo nagpo-post pa po sa Facebook na nakikita na tapos na po silang nabakunahan,” he pointed out in apparent reference to some mayors and even actor Mark Anthony Fernandez posted their photos after being vaccinated.
“Insulto po iyon sa ating health workers na hindi pa po nababakunahan na gusto pong magpabakuna. Nakikita nila na may nagpapaka-VIP,” he added.
Duterte’s former special adviser said that the general public must understand that medical front-liners should get the vaccines as they are at the forefront in the country’s fight against the dreaded Covi-19 disease.
“Mayroon na pong inaprubahan ang mahal na Pangulo na sinusunod na priority list. Ito po’y base sa rekomendasyon ng National Immunization Technical Advisory Group as well as the World Health Organization,” he explained.
“Alam n’yo po, dapat unahin muna natin iyong 1.7 milyong mga frontliners nationwide. Dahil sila po ang isinasabak natin dito sa giyerang ito, dapat sila ang unahin natin at iyong armasan natin para maproteksyunan ang kanilang sarili gamit ang bakuna habang nilalabanan ang Covid-19 at ginagampanan ang kanilang tungkulin na mailigtas ang buhay ng mga may sakit,” he emphasized.
Go reiterated that erring local chief executives will be held accountable for their breach of the vaccination prioritization program because these will not only deprive front-liners their protection but will also jeopardize vaccine deliveries coming from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility.
“Kaya po galit rin po ang Pangulo kagabi at inatasan na po ang DILG at DOH na tingnan rin po kaagad ito at iyong mga dapat makasuhan ay ipasa po sa Ombudsman. Nabanggit po ito ng Pangulo, iyong mga opisyales,” he said.
“Alam n’yo, dapat sumunod muna tayo sa priority list dito. Darating naman po ang punto na hanggang sa baba naman po iyan ay mababakunahan. So ngayon, uunahin muna iyong mga health workers, pagkatapos naman po ay iyong mga senior citizens,” Go further said.
Meanwhile, with some government officials skipping the vaccine priority list, health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire underscored the importance of following the government’s prioritization program in the fight against the novel coronavirus (nCoV) and the global pandemic.
“Nakakalungkot, and it is really so frustrating na hindi po ba tayo pare-pareho nang pakiramdam, na gusto nating proteksyunan lahat ng ating mga health care workers. For every single dose we get from them, we deprive one healthcare worker of this dose for their protection,” Vergeire pointed out.
She stressed that those officials (who skipped the line) should not use as an excuse that the targeted health worker did not show up during the scheduled inoculation, saying there should be a quick substitution list prepared by the local government units (LGUs). (AI/MTVN)