By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to launch its own vaccination program for construction workers and manufacturing laborers not only to protect the health of citizens but also to keep an active economy.
Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III announced this yesterday (September 6) saying the DOLE, in cooperation with the Philippine Contractors Association, will commence the inoculation of workers in the construction and manufacturing industry beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, September 8).
“Kasi ito (construction and manufacturing workers) ang mga movers of our economy. Kung walang manggagawa, walang negosyo, ‘pag walang negosyo, walang ekonomiya, kaya kailangan talaga alagaan natin (Because they are the movers of our economy. If there are no laborers, there are no businesses. If there’s no business, there’s no economy, so we need to take care of them),” Bello explained during the recently held virtual press briefing “V-Cafe @ DOLE.”
Around 452,000 doses of vaccines were allotted to the construction and manufacturing industry and the rollout for tomorrow will have an initial of 2,000 doses. The vaccination site will be located at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila and inoculation start at 9:00 am.
“I’m very grateful to Secretary Charlie Galvez, our vaccine czar at napagbigyan niya ‘yung kahilingan natin. Humingi tayo in the representation of the workers in the construction and manufacturing industry na nabigyan tayo ng 452,000 dosages ng vaccine (I’m very grateful to Secretary Charlie Galvez, our vaccine czar, and he was able to respond to our request. We asked, in the representation of the workers in the construction and manufacturing industries and we were able to get 452,000 doses of vaccines),” Bello added.
The vaccines will be allotted to the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and other areas with the request. It will be through local government units or agencies in coordination with the Philippine Contractors Association.
The partner organization of contractors was the one who initiated the request for the Labor Department to ask for vaccine allotment from the national task force.
“It was they [Philippine Contractors Association] who requested us to make the request and fortunately napagbigyan naman ‘yung kanilang request, ‘yung Philippine Construction Industry Association at ang manufacturing industry (It was they who requested us to make the request and fortunately it was granted, their request for the Philippine Construction Industry Association and the manufacturing industry),” Bello narrated.
He added that this will be a huge help to our workers so they are free to go to work without the fear of getting infected by the Covid-19 virus. However, the DOLE chief still reminded them that even if they are fully vaccinated already, they must still follow the health safety protocols for added protection. (ai/mtvn)