Duterte eyes police stations as COVID-19 vaccination hubs

Published August 3, 2020, 12:15 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has ordered the use of police stations as vaccination hubs once the vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) become available in the country.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 30, 2020. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In his public address on Sunday, the President said the police should prepare the stations and make sure that they are clean and ready when the time for the vaccination comes.

“Itong bakuna ibigay ko sa pulis pati military. Kayong mga pulis, makinig kayo sa akin ha. Linisan ninyo ‘yang presinto ninyo (I will give the vaccines to the military and the police. Clean your stations and make them ready for the (immunization) day,” he said.

“Iyon na lang mga police station mas malapit at saka marami (Let’s go with police stations because there are many of them and nearer to the people),” he added.

He said the police and the military will be supervising the distribution and administration of the vaccines while health professionals, including uniformed nurses, will help as well.

“I’ll leave the problem to [Interior Secretary Eduardo] Año, for the uniformed nurses sa pulis (in the police), and for [Defense Secretary Delfin] Lorenzana. They should be assembled and help,” he said,

“We can finish, if we have the vaccines and if it is delivered expeditiously, I think that in about one week’s time, tapos na (we’ll be done),” he added.

Duterte said everyone will receive a vaccine shot as long as they are Filipinos. However, he said that if someone will want more than a shot, the police and the military should just grant their request.

“[The] only requirement is Pilipino ka, wala na (You should be a Filipino, nothing else),” he said.

“Kung gusto nila magpa-injection ng lima, magpaikot, hayaan mo, sige (Now, if they want to have five shots, then give it to them). If they want to have an overdose of the vaccine, go ahead. If there’s one thing that we cannot help, there is no cure for it, is stupidity,” he added.

Additional benefits

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte has approved the hiring of additional healthcare workers to augment the current workforce. This includes the hiring of 10,000 medical professionals and the calling to active duty and enlistment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Healthcare workers will also be provided additional benefits, such as risk allowance for private sector healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients, the amount of P10,000 to P15,000 for every healthcare worker who gets sick, life insurance, free accommodation, free transportation, and free and frequent testing.

Duterte also approved the Cabinet’s recommendation to issue work and quarantine passes to minimize movement.