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Cebu News

Rama: “shape up or ship out”: Unvaxxed barangay officials warned

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama tells barangays captains and other barangay officials to “shape up or ship out” if they continue to refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rama made the statement after Martin Diño, undersecretary for barangay affairs of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), told barangay captains who are unvaccinated to either resign or take a leave of absence.

Diño said this after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed the inventory of unvaccinated individuals at the barangay level starting with barangay captains.

Diño told Super Radyo DZBB in an interview that it will be shameful for captains do an inventory of their constituents when they, themselves, are not vaccinated.

Rama, for his part, said leadership should be “leadership by example” as he directed lawyer Gerry Carillo, chairman of the city’s disaster council, to check on the vaccination status of barangay captains.

Cebu City will submit the inventory to DILG and leave it to the agency to take the next steps.

“Dagko na na sila… sultihan pa na sila nimo’g sanction? Mura mag di mao…Tuga-tuga ka’g pwesto diha... leadership by example na… if you cannot show your leadership, what is going to happen? Sud na gani ka’s gobyerno, you have to be part of the program of the government, otherwise, there is a better statement to that – shape up or ship out,” Rama said.

Nevertheless, Rama reiterated his call for barangay officials to get vaccinated as soon as possible, especially that the city is seeing another surge in coronavirus infections.

 “Pabakuna na ta… ang wa pa, puyo sa inyuha… kung di makatakod, kamoy matakdan…palihug tawn, be sensitive,” Rama said.

No Vaxx, No Ride

Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-7 said the “no vaccination, no ride” policy is not being implemented in Region 7 just yet in the absence of guidelines.

LTFRB-7 Director Eduardo Montealto, Jr. said that once guidelines are in place, it will be the public utility vehicle drivers and conductors who will inspect the vaccination card of passengers.

“Then mag-random (inspection) ra ang mga enforcers… pero dili pa ni implemented diri sa Region 7,” Montealto said.

He said this policy of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) “is a good measure to encourage everyone to be vaccinated.”

In a statement, DOTr said the policy was put in place to protect both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals by safeguarding those most at risk, the medical workers who are exhausted, and the healthcare system as a whole.

“The policy is for the benefit of the majority and the common good. Hence, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the riding public. It is important to note that the policy only takes effect while Alert Level 3 (or higher) is implemented to stem the surging cases of COVID-19, particularly with the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant,” DOTr said.

Anti-Poor?

DOTr believes is more anti-poor and anti-life if no intervention is put in place to prevent loss of life. It cited that the Administrative Code mandates DOTr to provide safe transportation services to the general public.

“We do not discriminate the unvaccinated, but we are protecting them,” the agency said.

The department said implementation will be tolerant and firm.

It added that there is no directive to prohibit travel as unvaccinated individuals are allowed to travel by using other means aside from public transport.

“We would also like to inform the public that it is DOTr’s position that the "no vaccination, no ride/entry" policy does not violate RA 11525, which states that vaccine cards shall not be considered as additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment and other similar government transaction purposes. Access to public transportation is not among those enumerated in the prohibition,” the agency said.

Top LGUS

Mandaue City and the towns of Alcoy and Borbon topped vaccination rates in Cebu as of January 16, 2022, the Visayas COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center reported yesterday.

VVOC spokesperson, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, said Mandaue City has administered 258, 976 doses or 76.50 percent for the second dose and 308,664 doses for the first dose.

Among local government units in southern Cebu, Alcoy has the highest vaccination rate with 58 percent or 7,765 doses administered for the second dose. It has administered 8,255 doses or 62 percent for the first dose.

The town has 13,430 residents eligible to get the COVID vaccine.

At least 809,259 residents in southern Cebu are eligible for the vaccine but only 244,189 or 30 percent of the number are fully vaccinated.

In northern Cebu, Borbon has vaccinated 16,522 individuals fully or 60 percent of its eligible population of 27,723. It has administered 16,509 doses for the first dose.

Up to 876,271 residents in northern Cebu are eligible for a COVID vaccine but only 338,781 or 39 percent are fully vaccinated. Up to 417,550 doses for the first dose have been administered in the area.

Loreche said the figures are improving and urged local government units to continue with their vaccination program.

Overall, Cebu has administered a total doses of 4,800,707 as of January 15, 2022 with 2,134,977 residents now fully vaccinated.- Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon,  JMO (FREEMAN)

COVID-19

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