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Gov’t urged: Allow companies to choose who among employees first to be inoculated

 By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

The country’s private firms that acquired coronavirus vaccines by means of tripartite agreements should be given a liberty to choose among its employees who will first to get a dose, Senator Cynthia Villar said Friday.

"Why will they buy if they cannot give it to their employees? Hindi mo naman pwedeng sabihin na tindera mo lang ang bibigyan mo, di mo bibigyan mga manager mo. Without the manager, who will manage the tinderas? This is impractical," Villar said during the Senate hearing on the government's COVID-19 immunization program.

Villar made the remark after an answer from Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Conception that after the companies purchase vaccines, it will go to the Department of Health (DOH).

Furthermore, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said in response that such is the procedure given since the DOH is the agency that will serve as facilitators for vaccination program.

Galvez added the prioritization of essential and frontline personnel to be inoculate is imposed subject to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines.

"The imposition of the priority is not only imposed by us but by the WHO. At the same time, imposed by the manufacturer who follows the imposition of the WHO," Galvez said.

However, Villar continued to highlight that all private employees must be given a chance of getting vaccine doses once their companies received supplies.

"In a company, you cannot just choose which one to vaccinate. Magagalit ang mga empleyado mo. Dapat pag bumili ka, para sa lahat ng empleyado," Villar said.

"Mauuna lang siguro 'yung naka-frontline but everybody will be vaccinated and you should be allowed to do that kasi ang binili mo enough for everybody," she added.

On the other hand, Senate President Vicente Sotto II interjected the exchange between Galvez and Villar.

"You're allowed to do that. Sinasabi lang na unahin lang 'yung mga... kung wala kang health workers i-diretso mo na agad sa mga empleyado mo," Sotto said.


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