By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator and chairman of the Senate Committee on Health
Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reiterated his support in providing
incentives to fully vaccinated individuals in order to encourage more
Filipinos, especially those still hesitant, to get their COVID-19
“Sa ngayon, wala tayong batas (na gawing mandatory ang pagbabakuna)
pero para sa akin, kung wala tayong batas, kung maaari, give
incentives. Bigyan natin ng incentives, tulad ng mas maluwag na
restrictions, mas makalabas sila, makalaro sila, makakain sila kapag
bakunado,” Go pointed out in an interview during the launch of the
143rd Malasakit Center at Doña Maria D. Tan Memorial Hospital in
Tangub City, Misamis Occidental on Tuesday, October 12.
“Incentivize natin. Mayroon kaming finile sa Senado, ‘yung Vaccination
Passport. Kasama na po dito ‘yung ilang incentives natin. Sana bigyan
ng incentives ‘yung mga bakunado na,” he added.
As the vaccines become more available, Go has earlier called on the
government and private sector to come up with unique and innovative
ways to incentivize vaccination to help the country achieve population
protection leading to herd immunity at the soonest possible time.
Go also expressed support to the proposal of mayors in the National
Capital Region to relax some of the COVID-19 guidelines for fully
Meanwhile, Go continued to encourage Filipinos to get their COVID-19
shots to protect themselves, their families, and communities from the
virus. He also lauded the increasing vaccine confidence of the public.
“Unang-una sa mga kababayan ko, natutuwa po ako ngayon na marami na po
ang gustong magpabakuna. Bumaliktad na. Dati takot magpabakuna, ngayon
marami na. So, kung ano po ang bakunang nasa harapan ninyo,
magpabakuna na po kayo,” urged Go.
“Libre naman po ito, sa gobyerno po ito, para ito sa mga kababayan
nating Pilipino. Magtiwala ho kayo sa gobyerno, magtiwala ho kayo sa
bakuna. Huwag ho kayong matakot sa bakuna,” he added.
Go also hailed the progress of the government’s vaccination rollout
and pandemic efforts as he shared some of the developments of the
country’s COVID-19 response.
“Ngayon, habang parating na po ang bakuna, 50 million doses na po ang
(naiturok) at tuluy-tuloy po ito, pinaghirapan po ito ng gobyerno,”
“Kaya pakiusap ko para ma-achieve natin ‘yung population protection,
ibig sabihin population protection, 50 percent po ang bakunado. Kapag
herd immunity, 70 percent. Ibig sabihin, hindi na mabilis na kakalat
‘yung sakit… Herd immunity, ‘yun ang target natin,” he further
Go also noted that 75% of the eligible population in the National
Capital Region had been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“Ngayon sa Maynila, nakita niyo na downtrend. Hopefully, tuluy-tuloy
po itong downtrend sa Maynila dahil po ‘yan mahigit 70 percent na po
sa Maynila ang bakunado,” he said.
COVID-19 cases in the NCR are on the decline, according to the
Department of Health. The DOH expects daily new cases to further
decline to 1,100 by mid-November.
By the end of October, the government hopes to have fully vaccinated
at least 85% of the eligible population in the NCR while expanding the
rollout in the critical areas of Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan,
Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.
The government began expanding the national immunization program to
the general public at the beginning of October, in accordance with
vaccination guidelines recommended by health experts.
As of October 11, the country has administered 50,066,590 doses of
COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 26,706,101 individuals have been fully
vaccinated while 23,360,489 have received their single dose. The
national daily jabs stands at 393,099 as of October 11.
Meanwhile, the country has received 87,690,960 vaccines as of October 11.
Meanwhile, the senator continues to ease the minds of Filipinos about
COVID-19 vaccines, telling them that data has proven that vaccines
provide protection against severe cases of the disease.
“Let me remind our fellow Filipinos na nasa datos naman po pag ikaw ay
bakunado, mas protektado ka. Tingnan niyo na lang, tingnan niyo na
lang po. ‘Di ba kapag bakunado ka, mas maiiwasan ‘yung pagkagrabe na
sakit? Sino ba ngayon ang na-admit sa ospital na grabe?” he said.
“Lesser chances of dying because of COVID-19 kapag bakunado ka. Nasa
datos. Sabi nga nila sa more than 10 million Filipinos na bakunado,
eh, wala pang sampung libo ang namatay o grabe (severe) ang kaso…
Ibig sabihin, mas protektado ka,” he concluded.
After the launch of the Malasakit Center, Go proceeded to distribute
aid to small business owners at the Sinanduloy Culture Center in
Tangub City, and to various sectors affected by the pandemic at the
Medina Gym in Ozamiz City. He also conducted a monitoring visit of the
Malasakit Center in Mayor Hilario A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in