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Free rides for more vaccinees pushed in Cebu City
This, to help address accessibility and convenience for increase uptake among the city residents to get inoculated against COVID-19.

Free rides for more vaccinees pushed in Cebu City

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - June 20, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Council has requested the city’s Vaccination Board to provide free transportation to more senior citizens, persons with disabilities, persons with comorbidities, essential workers, indigent residents, and the general population in going to vaccination sites.

This, to help address accessibility and convenience for increase uptake among the city residents to get inoculated against COVID-19.

The City Council also requested the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help augment the provision of free transportation for employees and residents to help in the city’s vaccination rollout, especially in encouraging more people to be vaccinated.

Councilor Alvin Dizon said the private sector can help in this logistical aspect on the premise that giving free rides encourage more residents to get the shot, especially those from remote communities.

Dizon sponsored a resolution for this purpose which was approved by the council Wednesday.

City Health officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said that around 80,000 residents have so far been inoculated, including those who have received their second dose.

At least 200,000 individuals already registered online through www.PaBakunaTa.com.

Dizon said the low vaccine turnout among the city residents could be attributed to several factors, such as vaccine hesitancy due to misinformation or lack of information, accessibility of vaccine centers, failure to register online, among others.

“Transportation should not be a health barrier and government must show and act to establish the people’s trust in its vaccination program by seeing them through the entire vaccination process in which accessibility and public convenience are critical components,” said Dizon.

‘We don’t have to die’

Meanwhile, acting Mayor Michael Rama said the way to rise from the pandemic is to perpetuate idealism and nationalism through vaccination.

“We don’t have to die, we only have to live what ought to be lived by. Dying did not have to be resorted to in order to prove the love for your country,” said Rama during the commemoration of Jose Rizal’s 160th birth anniversary at Plaza Sugbo Saturday, June 19.

Reiterating his slogan “Vaccination is the way to liberation,” Rama said he cannot do it alone. “It’s not easy leading a city, bringing all Cebuanos to be vaccinated.”

He urged his fellow Cebuanos to go back to the basic and to go back to the word "education.”

Rama also reminded the Cebuanos to relive the sacrifices of Rizal and other “contemporaries” fighting for independence, citing, among them, Councilor Joel Garganera, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Michael Gleissner of Bigfoot, and many frontliners. — Deogracia William Bemida, Silliman University Intern, JMD (FREEMAN)

COVID-19 VACCINE
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