THE Philippine National Police will coordinate with the Department of Health in launching a more aggressive information drive to effectively convince more Filipinos to avail of the government’s free vaccination amid the continuing deadly threat posed by COVID-19 virus, PNP chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said.
The top cop said the massive info drive is needed amid the confirmation by health authorities that the more transmissible Delta variant was already detected in the country.
In doing so, he wanted to replicate the success of the information drive initiated in the police organization wherein the use of videos and fact sheets from the DOH was instrumental in convincing more policemen to be vaccinated.
Gen. Eleazar said from only 51 percent during the first survey conducted in February this year, the number of PNP personnel who signified intention to be inoculated is now at 93 percent.
“We in the PNP believe that the aggressive information drive is necessary to counter all the wrong information and the disinformation that our kababayan see especially in the social media on the safety and efficiency of the available vaccines,” said the PNP chief.
“Naniniwala tayo na kung maayos na mapaliwanagan ang ating mga kababayan sa kahalagahan ng bakuna, they would really change their mind and realize that being vaccinated has more benefits. Nangyari ito sa PNP kaya naniniwala ako na magiging epektibo din ang information drive sa ating mga kababayan,” he explained.
Last month, Gen. Eleazar directed all police commanders to maximize the PNP’s Oplan Bandillo in the information drive on COVID-19 vaccination for the people in their respective areas of responsibility.
Oplan Bandillo originally was a community awareness and information dissemination program against criminal elements by the PNP but d was eventually used to encourage people to observe the minimum health safety standard protocol since the start of the pandemic in March lat year.
In implementing the program, local police forces use megaphones and speaker systems during their regular beat patrol to communicate with people in the community.
President Duterte earlier threatened those who would refuse to get vaccinated of arrest although Gen. Eleazar said that the President’s statement is just a strong reminder for the people to get protection from COVID-19, especially with the threat of the Delta variant.
“Ito naman po’ng sinabi ng ating Pangulo ay pagdidiin lamang ng kahalagahan ng pagpapabakuna ngayong pandemya. Lalo na po ngayon na may naitalang mga kaso ng COVID-19 Delta variant sa bansa kaya’t mas kailangan po talaga ng bawat Pilipino ng proteksyon laban dito. We really need to attain herd immunity,”the PNP chief explained.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that that there is no law that compels anyone to be vaccinated. Malacañang, for its part, said a law or an ordinance is needed before any arrest is made with regard to those who refused to get vaccinated.
“Kaisa po ang PNP sa paghikayat sa taumbayan na magpabakuna para sa COVID-19. Sa ngayon ay ito lamang po ang tiyak na paraan para maprotektahan natin ang ating mga sarili at ang mga mahal natin sa buhay laban sa nakamamatay na sakit na ito,” Gen. Eleazar said.