Defensor counts on top 5,000 firms to shoulder COVID-19 vaccination of 5-M workers

The vice chairperson of the House Committee on Health cited Sunday as crucial the participation of the country's top 5,000 private corporations in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, saying that it will somehow unburden the government in terms of logistics and financial expenditures. 

“As part of their business sustainability management, we are counting on our largest private firms to arrange and spend for the mass vaccination of their respective workforces,” Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Michael “Mike”  Defensor said in a statement. 

“They have the wherewithal to vaccinate their workers through their in-house clinics or the facilities of their private health maintenance organizations (HMOs),” Defensor pointed out.

He noted that currently, the top 5,000 firms,  which include labor-intensive and information technology-enabled business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, employ some five million Filipinos. 

“The direct participation of big private employers in the COVID-19 immunization campaign will lessen the financial and logistical burden on the government,” Defensor said.

He said if the private companies can immunize their employees, the Department of Health (DOH)  can concentrate on vaccinating disadvantaged Filipinos, particularly those in the informal economy. 

"The government will have five million Filipinos less to target for vaccination," the House leader said, citing that the number represents a little over seven percent of the 70 million Filipinos that the government hopes to vaccinate in three years to achieve herd immunity.

Defensor reminded the private employers "to look after the well-being of their workers” and that "the extra cost should not be an issue.”