Duterte: Poorest Filipinos to get first shot of COVID-19 vaccines
CALOOCAN CITY, July 31 (PIA) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has assured that poorest of the poor Filipinos would be first to benefit from the country’s COVID-19 immunization program once government gets hold of vaccines, probably within this year.
In a taped address aired Friday morning, Duterte met with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to announce that his administration would prioritize the beneficiaries of government’s Pantawid or 4Ps program as recipients of the first batch of coronavirus vaccines that may be available by December.
“Ito ang i-guarantee ko, ang listahan ng mga tao na nakatanggap ng pera noon na mahirap ang una na bibigyan ng assistance, ‘yun ang category natin [para sa bakuna]. Ang mauna ‘yung walang-wala, at tsaka of course ‘yun sa mga nasa ospital, ‘yung mga sick, and dying,” the President said.
He said those receiving government aid and those confined in hospitals who are sick and dying will be prioritized, and then those belonging to the middle class would be next.
“Ang una talaga ‘yung mga tao sa listahan na tumatanggap ng assistance sa gobyerno,” he noted.
“Pangalawa, ‘yung middle income. Libre ‘to, hindi ko ito ipagbili,” he assured of state-subsidized vaccines.
“And third is the military and the police because I need a strong backbone, the backbone of my administration is the uniformed personnel,” he added.
Duterte, likewise, said he would tap the same uniformed personnel of both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to facilitate the massive distribution of the vaccines.
“Ngayon, sino ang magdala nito? Military, military lang,” he said.
“I suggest that we let the military assign so many of the soldiers, so many of the policeman. Punta lang kayo ospital may mga military doon, punta lang kayo mga police station, mga pulis,” he added.
The President is also banking on China to produce the vaccines because of the Chinese government’s earlier commitment to prioritize the Philippines.
“China to give priority to the Philippines once the COVID-19 vaccine is successfully developed,” Duterte read a statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Tuesday.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and the Philippines have been helping and supporting each other in the efforts to fight the pandemic, attesting to the mutual cooperation that has brought out a new highlight in bilateral relations,” he added. (PIA NCR)