THERE will be no letup in her campaign against the alleged government’s preferential treatment or “palakasan system” in the unsystematic distribution of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines, House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a former Health secretary, has warned.
“Bilang isang doctor, bilang isang ina at bilang isang public servant na may experience sa public health, hindi ako puwedeng manahimik lamang,” Garin, a former secretary of the Department of Health (DoH), said as she vehemently denied the allegation of vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. that she asked for her own allocation of the COVID-19 vaccines for her province.
“That is not true and that is a big lie,” Garin said during a press conference Thursday.
With many local government units (LGUs) being forced to stop their vaccine rollout due to lack of available jabs, Garin said it would take some time before the country achieves herd immunity.
Garin also rejected Galvez’s accusation of politicking, saying as a representative of her district, she has an obligation to bring the needs of her constituents to the attention of the national government.
“Kami ay tumutulong lang, di namumulitika. Madami na ang napapagod, at umaasa na matapos na ang pandemya. Maraming nawalan ng trabaho at kabuhayan. Sana ay ‘wag na masamain ang mga tumutulong sa gobyerno,” Garin said who earlier questioned the supposed “palakasan system” where areas visited by Galvez and testing czar Vince Dizon purportedly got vaccines.
The lawmaker said she only asked Galvez for fair and equitable distribution of anti-COVID-19 vaccines.
“What I am asking for is fair and equitable distribution of vaccines,” Garin pointed out.
The lawmaker said the government should come up with a clear distribution list because as of now, there is no clear basis regarding the allocation of vaccines to various LGUs.
“Nasaan ang malinaw na distribution list? Si Sec Galvez na din mismo ang nagsabi na tinatawagan sya ng mga mayor at governors. Walang malinaw na batayan,” said Garin, stressing that target population and preventing surges should be the basis.
With Galvez already aware of the arrival of vaccines to the country, Garin said local governments should be made aware of the allocation that they would receive in advance.
“Kung may delay o pagbabago, maabisuhan ang lahat. Napakasimpleng proseso niyan. Bakit wala? Bakit hindi magawa?” Garin asked.
“Lahat dapat mayroon. Lahat dapat naka-schedule. Dapat lahat premeditated at informed ang mga lugar kahit saang sulok pa ng bansa. Para ang mga LGU ay nakakapagplano din. Monthly allocation should already be clear by now,” she added.
With the country’s vast experience on vaccination, Garin said the government should have a clear plan on distribution and implementation by now.
“It’s population-based. There can be allocation to surge areas. We understand the NCR plus 8. Pero ang pauulit-ulit na tanong, nasaan ang klarong distribution list? Hindi naman pwedeng sila-sila lang ang may alam,” she stressed.