Mayor defends jumping the vaccination line

LEGAZPI CITY: Mayor Noel Rosal, in defense, said he submitted himself to be inoculated to encourage health care workers to undergo vaccination.

True enough, he claimed on Thursday, after his vaccination on March 16, more health care workers came forward registering a 90.23 percent increase.

“The Department of Health Bicol through Director Ernie Vera suggested that I could be inoculated to allay the fears of our frontliners. After my Covid-19 vaccination, the turnout, according to our health authorities, significantly increased and a bit successful,” Rosal said.

The city health office reported that out of a total of 1,269 health workers, 1,145 were willing to be vaccinated, 109 undecided and 19 unwilling.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing 3rd earlier identified Rosal and four other mayors who had themselves inoculated along with the health workers and other frontliners although they were not included in the first priority list.

Other mayors whom Densing mentioned were Abraham Ibba of Bataraza, Palawan; Sulpicio Villalobos of Santo Niño, South Cotabato; Dibu Tuan of T’boli, South Cotabato; and Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City in Leyte.

The DILG central office will send a show-cause order to the five mayors, urging them to explain why they went through the vaccination even though they were not listed among the priority group.

Rosal said he is yet to receive the DILG letter.

Legazpi City has set aside P200 million for the vaccine rollout.