Public and private sector employees who will be vaccinated during the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” National COVID-19 Vaccination Days will be exempted from work, according to a new proclamation signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday.
Proclamation No. 1253 formally declared November 29 to December 1 as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” National COVID-19 Vaccination Days.
“Employees and workers of the government and the private sector, who will be vaccinated during the period, shall not be considered absent from their work, provided that they present proof of vaccination to their respective employers, subject to rules that may be issued by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Civil Service Commission,” the proclamation read.
Under the proclamation, the Department of Health and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, in cooperation with the National Task Force Against COVID-19, shall lead the observance of mass vaccination.
All health workers, including doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, dentists, and medical technologists, are called upon to extend their full support and cooperation in providing COVID-19 vaccination during the three-day vaccination campaign.
The Philippines aims to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the country’s total population.
The NTF said Wednesday a total 34,199,500 individuals were now fully vaccinated while 43,290,294 received the first dose. A total of 70,500 vaccines have also been administered as booster shots to qualified recipients.
“Considering the goal to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the total population, including individuals aged 12 to 17, and that approximately 53 million doses of COVID- 19 vaccines have yet to be administered, there is a need to cultivate the Bayanihan spirit of the Filipino people by forging unity and cooperation among relevant stakeholders to expedite and intensify the government’s vaccination program against COVID-19,” the proclamation read.
With the launch of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” program, 15 million Filipinos across 16 regions outside Metro Manila are expected to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte directed all LGUs, police and military personnel to work side-by-side for the vaccination program.
“I urge all national government agencies as well as provincial and local government units to use all available resources, especially human resources, to help in the vaccination efforts during these three days of vaccination,” Duterte said.
“I also call upon AFP, PNP, and all enforcement agencies — to assist in the vaccination and mobilization of resources to help bring our people to the vaccination sites,” he added.
To prevent the people from going hungry during the mass vaccination, the Chief Executive said he would authorize all governors and mayors to shell out funds to ensure food would be provided for all.
He also thanked the private sector, malls, fast food chains, and private hospitals for their commitment to the planned National Vaccination Days.
At the same time, Duterte renewed calls to those who remain unvaccinated to take the jab, noting that refusing to do so would make them a “threat to public health”.
To protect public health, Duterte said individuals who would refuse to be vaccinated should not be allowed inside public restaurants, resorts, and other establishments.
Meanwhile, the Philippines received 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Australian government on Wednesday.
The shipment landed at the Ninoy Aquino international Airport – Terminal 3 around 10 a.m. on board Cathay Pacific flight CX 907 from the COVAX Facility via Hong Kong.