Senior Citizen partylist Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes has appealed to the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and the Metro-Manila Council (MMC) to expeditiously issue a directive mandating the prioritization of senior citizens in their members’ COVID vaccination campaigns.
In three separate letters dated January 11, 2021, the lawmaker also asked that the almost 10 million senior citizens be prioritized in the local government units’ inoculation drive.
“This is in consideration of the increased risk and vulnerability of senior citizens from infection and from becoming a fatality of COVID-19,” he said in the letters addressed to LCP national president Evelio “Bing” Leonardia, LMP national president Luis “Chavit” Singson, and MMC chairman Edwin Olivarez.
In the two-page letters, he noted that in the recommendation of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) under the World Health Organization (WHO), senior citizens are considered as one of the primary priority groups in the allocation of COVID-19 vaccination along with the health care frontliners.
“The same prioritisation is further mandated by Article XIII, Section 11 of our Constitution. Thus, given the immediacy of the vaccines’ arrival, the continued threat to the lives of our senior citizens , and all the above-mentioned considerations, I humbly appeal for MMC’s immediate release of the directive mandating the prioritization of senior citizens in its members’ vaccination campaigns,” Ordanes said.
He cited that many cities and municipalities have allocated funds to purchase vaccine and are expected to start vaccination drives as soon as the doses arrive.
“Given this, I appeal to them to prioritize senior citizens and coordinate with us so that we can help them develop a roadmap on how they can conduct their vaccination campaign with senior citizens,” the lawmaker said in a statement.
Ordanes also took the opportunity to appeal to the government to give the elderly COVID-19 vaccines, which have high efficacy rate and are safe.
“I appeal to the IATF and local officials to please give the seniors the best vaccines available based on high efficacy and high safety. Please prioritize the seniors in the urban centers where COVID-19 has forced authorities to keep under GCQ,” he said.
He also urged the government to start the massive public information drive, especially in the urban centers where COVID-19 has forced authorities to keep under GCQ.
“The science behind and underlying the vaccines should be explained thoroughly and in languages and tone the seniors can understand. Laymanize the science but tell the truth and allay the fears,” Ordanes said.