MMDA staff with comorbidities, elderly get COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 14, 2021   •   174

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday began the vaccination against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) of its personnel who are senior citizens and with comorbidities.

MMDA chairperson Benhur Abalos said around 200 employees belonging to the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (with comorbidities) priority groups were administered with Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine at the agency’s headquarters in Makati City.

Around 80 medical personnel of the MMDA were already vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday.

Abalos said the MMDA has a high infection rate among its personnel because they are among the frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.

“Kaya, humingi kami ng tulong sa DOH (Department of Health) para mabakunahan ang ating mga frontliners, lalong lalo na ang aming traffic enforcers, ang mga nasa field,” he said.

The agency is targeting to fully inoculate all its 8,000 employees.

Abalos himself received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. His initial dose was given last March 1.

The MMDA has so far recorded a total of 771 COVID-19 infections with 100 active ones. About eight personnel succumbed to the disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent JP Nuñez)

PH gov’t eyeing to prioritize vulnerable areas in COVID-19 vaccine rollout amid tight supply – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has recommended to the government to prioritize the inoculation in areas with high cases of COVID-19 to fend off further surges and enable the economy to recover.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte during the public briefing on Monday night, Galvez said the current constriction in global vaccine supply would affect the deliveries and the government’s inoculation rollout.

“Mr. President, considering magkaroon tayo ng tinatawag na falloff or shortfall sa ating mga supply, we are recommending na magkaroon tayo ng prioritization po,” Galvez said.

“So meaning, tingnan po natin ‘yong mga areas na mayroon pong tinatawag na economic at saka social importance. At saka magkakaroon tayo ng malaking problema pagka hindi natin po naagapan lalo po ang NCR (National Capital Region),” he added.

Galvez proposed the following areas to be prioritized in the COVID-19 inoculation:

  • National Capital Region
  • Calabarzon
  • Central Luzon
  • Baguio City
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Cagayan Valley
  • Cebu City
  • Bacolod City
  • Iloilo City
  • Western Visayas
  • Central Visayas
  • Eastern Visayas
  • Davao City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Zamboanga City
  • General Santos City
  • Iligan City
  • Zamboanga Peninsula
  • Northern Mindanao
  • Davao Region

Galvez said the government should also recalibrate its mass vaccination program and concentrate on immunizing around 83 million of the country’s population instead of 110 million.

If the government could achieve herd immunity in badly hit areas, Galvez said it would give the country better chances for quick economic recovery and prevent possible surges in traditional and very vulnerable areas.

“So ganoon po ang gagawin po nating strategy kasi kung magkakaroon tayo ng shortfall doon po sa constriction ng global supply, we will target more or less mga 50 to 60 (percent) of population instead of 70 to 80 to 90 para targeted ang ano po natin,” he said.

The vaccine czar also gave an update on recent vaccine procurements and rollout, telling the President that, so far, there is a total 4,040,600 vaccine doses delivered to the Philippines.

He likewise reported that China’s Sinovac will upscale its vaccine supply for the country, vowing to bring in 1.5 million doses instead of just 500,000 doses for its May 7 delivery.

The government is also negotiating with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute for a monthly delivery of two million doses.

Talks are also ongoing with the COVAX facility and the World Health Organization for the delivery of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines totaling 2.3 million doses.

“And nakikita po natin na papataas din po ‘yong ating mga deliveries. Starting po ng June, magkakaroon na po tayo ng more or less 10.3 million doses dahil po darating na rin po ang Moderna at saka po ‘yong AstraZeneca,” he said.

“So apat na po ang magde-deliver this coming June. And ganoon din po sa third quarter, darating na rin po ‘yong ibang mga deliveries,” he added.

Philippines hopes Hong Kong won’t single out OFWs in compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government on Monday expressed hope that Hong Kong authorities will not single out overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in its plan to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for foreign domestic workers.

While the Philippine government welcomes a state’s prerogative to require vaccination, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Filipino migrant workers should not be singled out.

“Alam niyo po ang equal protection clause is not just a provision in the Philippine Bill of Rights, it is accepted already in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at sakop po ng kanyang applicability ang Hong Kong,” Roque said in an online briefing

“Sana po ‘wag i-single put ang ating mga OFW bagama’t we recognize yung sovereign prerogative na i-require ang bakuna,” he added.

“We have an early 1905 case na sinustain po ng korte suprema ng Pilipinas ang mandatory vaccination against smallpox as a form in part and parcel of police power pero pati po ang exercise of power must be done in a manner na lahat po ng tao ay sasakupin. Wag naman pong magkaroon ng singling out,” he further stated.

Earlier media reports stated that Hong Kong health officials are planning to make COVID-19 testing and vaccination mandatory for some 370,000 domestic helpers before they can renew their contract.

The plan comes after two migrant workers were found infected with the more virulent variant of the novel coronavirus disease.

Groups of migrant workers in Hong Kong have criticized the plan, saying it is “discriminatory and unjust.”

MMDA extends suspension of truck ban in Metro Manila until May 14

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has extended the suspension of the truck ban in Metro Manila until May 14.

The MMDA said this is to ensure the unhampered movement of essential goods. Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces are still under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after President Rodrigo Duterte announced its extension on Wednesday evening (April 28).

ADVISORY: MMDA extends suspension of truck ban policy along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila for the duration of…

Posted by MMDA on Wednesday, April 28, 2021


The said suspension of the truck ban, however, will only be imposed in major thoroughfares in Metro Manila except on EDSA and Roxas Blvd. AAC


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