Villanueva urges IATF: Bring vaccination drive to displaced people at evacuation centers
Senator Joel Villanueva is urging the government to bring the vaccination drive to displaced people in temporary shelters so these evacuation sites will not become “COVID-19 super-spreader places.”
“Bigyan na po natin ng bakuna ang mga bakwit para mapabilis pa ng husto ang roll out,” he said in a statement. “Kung mayroon na pong mga health personnel na nag-momonitor ng kanilang kalagayan, bilangin na po natin rin ang mga hindi pa bakunado at dalhan ng bakuna.”
He said evacuation centers are “closed, confined, crammed” places that could be a hotbed for transmission of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant.
“What we should avoid is a calamity on top of another calamity. Mahirap pong ma-double whammy ng COVID-19 at ng baha, lindol, o pagputok ng bulkan,” he said.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, is also suggesting that residents in so-called “danger areas” be put ahead of the vaccination line. “We already know the geohazard places. They are prone to flooding and other calamities. Let’s prioritize the residents of these areas.”
“Bigyan na po natin ng bakuna ang mga bakwit para mapabilis pa ng husto ang roll out. Kung mayroon na pong mga health personnel na nag-momonitor ng kanilang kalagayan, bilangin na po natin rin ang mga hindi pa bakunado at dalhan ng bakuna."
“Kung mayroon pong preemptive evacuation, dapat mayroon ring preemptive vaccination. Kaya kung lilisan man sila at uuwi na sa kani-kanilang mga tahanan, uuwi po silang bakunado at may karagdagang proteksyon laban sa sakit,” he said.
The number of calamity-prone individuals, while in the millions, only represent a fraction of the country’s population.
Last year, 4.56 million Filipinos were displaced by calamities, according to the 2021 Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID), with the Philippines coming second to China as to having the most number of evacuees.
Typhoon Fabian, which has inundated a wide swath of Luzon, has driven at least 14,000 people across the different provinces to flee their homes for safety, disaster officials said.