Cebu News

City to temporarily close 2 vax sites

Decemay P. Padilla - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  To ensure everyone’s safety, the Cebu City Health Department will close the vaccination site at Robinsons Cybergate starting tomorrow to pave way for disinfection. CHD officer-in-charge Dr. Jeffrey Ibones said normal operations will resume at the site on Saturday.

On Saturday, it will then be SM Seaside City vaccination site’s turn to be closed, also for disinfection.

Robinsons Cybergate, SM Seaside and Cebu City Sports Center are home to vax sites for the pediatric population in Cebu  City, or those aged 12-17.

“Nakita pud nato nga dagnan na pud tag mga doctors and nurses, and even encoders nga nangasakit pud. Wala gani ta makuan ana bisan kita nangaigo but sige lang, life must go on, vaccination must go on. Naa lang tay gamay changes lang,” Ibones said.

The city government is already done disinfecting the vax sites at Robinsons Galleria and SM City Cebu.

As of this writing, Cebu City has 17 vaccination centers.

Also, Ibones reiterated that individuals wishing to get booster shots are welcome in the city, even if they may have received their first or second dose somewhere else.

From Dec. 21, 2021 to Jan. 19, 2022, Cebu City has vaccinated close to 200,000 people, according to Ibones.

“Gahapon naay mga sites nga gamay nalang mao na akong gimanduan nga modawat na gyud ta og first dose sa atoang pop up vaccination sites,” he said.

“Ato lang hinay-hinayon kung tan-aw nato dili sad kaayo daghan sa atuang pop up nga first dose ug second dose niya naa natay klarong internet unya ato lang sila ipa register pwede gyud nato modawat nata og booster but for the meantime, ato lang paningkamutan, mo try lang gyud ta,” he added.


Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation clarified yesterday on the exemptions to the “no vaccination, no ride” policy, reiterating the statement of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra that the state has the power to regulate the movement of unvaccinated persons if it deems that such regulation is in the interest of public health or public safety.

DOTr said that those exempted in the policy are are persons with medical conditions that prevent their full COVID-19 vaccination as shown by a duly-signed medical certificate with the name and contact details of their doctor.

Another exempted are those persons who will buy essential goods and services, such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work and medical and dental necessities, as shown by a duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to justify travel.

DOTr said that this policy was made to protect all-whether vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals in order to safeguard those that are most at risk, our healthcare system, and our exhausted medical workers amid the recent surge of COVID-19 cases recorded in the country.

On those saying that the “no vaccination, no ride/entry” policy in public transport is anti-poor, draconian or punitive, DOTr believes that it is more anti-poor and anti-life if they will not impose interventions that will prevent loss of life due to non-vaccinations.

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

 Sought for comments, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines president and TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond Mendoza said that TUCP monitoring showed on the first day of the policy implementation that it is the workers and their families who suffer loss of income with the restrictive implementation of the 'no vax, no ride' policy in Metro Manila's public transportation services.

The policy, he said. also impacted the operations of businesses whose unvaccinated employees and those vaccinated with just first dose were barred from riding public transportation to work.

Labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM)-Cebu spokesperson Dennis Derige said that in response to the declaration of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello that the government should apologize for the confusion over the no vaccination, no ride policy, PM asserted that the controversial order be withdrawn immediately.

“Sorry is not good enough. Apologies will not reimburse the lost pay of daily paid workers who have been barred from public transport by enforcers since last week. It is not over eagerness on the part of enforcers but impunity of security forces who have been given a free pass since the onset of the pandemic to implement discriminatory policies and double standards in enforcement. Kapag VIP's malaya, kapag mahirap kawawa ngayong pandemya,” said Derige.

He called on Secretary Bello to immediately convene a meeting with labor groups to hear their concerns about policies such as no vaccination, no ride and no jab, no job.

PM also welcomed the statements of Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros against the no vaccination, no ride policy.

Derige said: “We call on Senators Kiko and Risa to open an investigation on the no vaccination, no ride, no jab, no job and similar discriminatory policies.”

 “These policies are patent discrimination against workers and poor. In contrast, rich people—vaccinated or not—are free to move around since they have cars to use. These unfair and biased policies disproportionately impact people in the laylayan,” Derige added.

He stated that DOTR’s discriminatory ban on unvaccinated individuals taking public transport is a repeat of the railroading of the jeepney phaseout amid the pandemic lockdown in 2020. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, JMD (FREEMAN)


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