Senator Win Gatchalian urged local executives to be more compassionate to the health care workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities and ensure that no more “palakasan system” will be observed in the wake of reports that some government officials and celebrities were given COVID-19 jabs ahead of those who are in the priority list of the government’s vaccination program.
“Nauunawaan ko ang papel na ginagampanan ng mga lokal na opisyal. Ako man ay may mga kamag-anak na naninilbihan sa local level ngunit sa panahon ng pandemya, mas kailangan natin ang mga health care workers,” Gatchalian said.
“Sakaling magkasakit o mabawasan ang mga medical frontliners, mapipilayan tayo. Hindi naman pwedeng gumamot ang mga mayors at governors kung nabigyan na sila ng bakuna,” he added.
Gatchalian pointed out that the sensitivity of the present situation makes it more urgent to prioritize the medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities in the use of the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
The senator said that there are almost 1.5 million medical frontliners nationwide needed to be vaccinated and the number of those administered with the first dose stood only at 508,332 as of March 23, 2021.
From the previous classification of B3 which pertains to other essential workers, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Malacanang recently announced that governors, mayors and barangay captains are now under A4 category which includes the group of frontline personnel in essential sectors such as uniformed personnel and those identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ.
The DILG said there are a total of 1,715 governors and mayors and 42,046 barangay captains elevated to the A4 classification.
“Pagdating naman ng July, pag dumagsa na yung vaccines, kahit mauna na yung mga mayor, governors, at barangay leaders. Palakasan kasi ang nangyayari dito sa atin. Habang kulang pa ang suplay ng bakuna, unahin na muna natin ang medical frontliners.,” Gatchalian said.