Metro Manila mayors to jab more non-residents soon

August 28, 2021 Edd Reyes 399 views

MEMBERS of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) have agreed to adopt the “Vax as One” Concept to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Metro Manila aimed towards population protection.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent MMC Chairman Benhur Abalos said the priority areas would be Metro Manila and then the four nearby provinces such as Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna

“Ever since the start of the vaccination program, all local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila have been vaccinating medical frontliners up to all economic workers (non-residents) of their respective jurisdictions,” Abalos said.

“Considering that each LGUs have established effective vaccination sites and highly trained manpower; further considering that some LGUs have almost hit their targets; they have decided to accept more non-residents in their vaccination operations. All would be by schedule, strictly no walk-ins allowed,” he added.

According to the MMDA chief, LGUs to vaccinate non-residents are those who have almost already reached their targets in their areas. For the meantime, LGUs to focus more on vaccinating non-residents are Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan and Pateros. Other LGUs would soon follow as they are already nearing their targets, too.

In Mandaluyong, for instance, a total of 4,715 or 89 percent non-residents were inoculated as of August 26, 3,896 or 83 percent were from the National Capital Region (NCR) and the remaining 819 or 17 percent were from outside NCR.

Persons who will be vaccinated outside their LGUs must present a valid government-issued identification card during their schedule.

At the meeting of the MMC Friday night, Abalos said the MMC have approved for implementation in Metro Manila the new concept of the Technical Working Group of the Inter-Agency Task Force as far as defining flexibility of capacities in cases under quarantine status in modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

As presented by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, the new concept of quarantine status implementation will define flexibility of capacities in cases under MECQ and GCQ areas. Under this concept, maximum capacities of closed areas, crowded areas and closed contacts are clearly established.

LGUs can also determine for themselves the level of alertness of their area, from scale of 1 to 4, considering three factors: case transmission, health care utilization rate and presence of COVID-19 variants.

Abalos also said the concept of cost sharing between the national government and LGUs of food packs for isolation/quarantine and granular lockdown areas was discussed during the meeting. The DILG manifested its approval and support for this concept, and would present the scheme the soonest.

Likewise, the MMDA chief expressed confidence that the national government would hit the 50 percent target of giving double dose shots of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of August or early September.

“The Metro Manila mayors, together with National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, are united in trying to hitting the target of 50 percent by the end of the month or early September,” Abalos said.

The MMC, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.