Sotto Clarifies Senate Frontliners, Not Senators, To Be Prioritized In COVID-19 Vaccinations

Senate President Sotto clarifies that Senate frontliners, not senators, will be prioritized in COVID-19 vaccinations.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Saturday clarifies that Senate frontliners will be prioritized in COVID-19 vaccinations and not themselves.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III
Photo source: Manila Bulletin

In a report on Manila Bulletin, Senate President Sotto clarified that senators were seeking COVID-19 vaccine allocation for the employees and not for themselves.

During the “Laging Handa” briefing, Senate President Sotto maintained that they would follow the national government’s protocols and priority list should the Senate’s request for 5,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses be granted.

According to Senate President Sotto, the government has no budget and there will be no national budget if the Senate will not pass it. Senate President Sotto also said that they can’t do anything if there were no employees and staff in different departments can’t go to work.

READ ALSO: Philippines Would Have To Reimburse COVAX If Vaccine Priority Line Deemed Violated — Gavi

Sasabihin ng iba, ‘Bakit ‘yong Senado ang nauuna?’ Hindi po kami, ‘yong mga empleyado namin. Sapagkat yong mga empleyado po namin, kung tutuusin, ay nandoon sa tinatawag na ‘frontline personnel in essential services’ Wala pong budget ang gobyerno, ay at hindi po magkakaroon ng budget kung hindi papasa sa Senado. At wala po kaming magagawang trabaho, kaming 24, kung wala hong mga empleyado at ‘yong iba’t ibang departamento ng Senado ay [hindi] makakapasok.” Senate President Sotto said.

Frontline personnel in essential sectors were in “A4” category in the national government’s prioritization after health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with co-morbidities (A3).

Also included in the A4 category were uniformed personnel and others identified by the government as essential, as well as local chief executives who had recently been moved up in the national government’s vaccine priority list.

Meanwhile, Gavi said that variations from the planned vaccine prioritization would constitute misuse, adding that countries — including the Philippines — will be held to account and be required to reimburse COVAX if misuse was determined.

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