By Deighton Acuin


“Bayanihan” instead of threatening arrest should be used to motivate people who are still hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Senator Panfilo Lacson said.

In a press statement, Lacson made the remark in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat during his late-night address that Filipinos who do not want to get vaccines will be arrested.

“We should get vaccinated not so much due to the fear of being arrested if we refuse, but because we have the Bayanihan spirit,” he said.

“We want to do our part to protect those around us, we want to do our part to achieve herd immunity, and we want to do our part to finally end the threat posed by the pandemic on our health and on our economy,” he added.

Lacson said the government should be “restraint” and “transparent” to save available resources.

“For government, this means being transparent and exercising restraint in spending our already severely limited resources,” he said.

He also called on the government to improve its vaccination program as it is the only way to decrease the hesitancy among Filipinos.

“That said, if we see that our authorities are showing efforts in getting the job done effectively and efficiently, then we can do no less by getting the jab done,” he added.

The country has so far received 9,000,000 doses from Sinovac Biotech, 2,556,000 doses from British firm AstraZeneca, 2,469,870 doses from Pfizer, and 180,000 doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, bringing the total to 14,205,870 doses.

As of Tuesday, June 22, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,367,894 total coronavirus infections, 1,291,389 recoveries, and 23,809 deaths.

As of June 21, 8,222,759 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country. Of the total, 6,102,625 individuals have received the first dose while 2,120,134 individuals have completed two doses.