Drilon to Congress: Immunize COVID-19 vaccination program from politics

Published February 14, 2021, 9:38 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday said it is imperative for Congress to establish mechanisms that would prevent politics from ruining the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Drilon said he sees politics as a challenge to the proper roll out of the government’s mass inoculation program against the coronavirus.

“We must prevent the politicization of the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination program will not succeed if we inject politics,” Drilon said in a radio interview on DZBB.

To ensure that the use of COVID-19 vaccines won’t be used for political gains, Drilon said he will push to put into law guidelines creating the list of people and sectors that should be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Currently, the Senate is deliberating on Senate Bill No. 2042 or the measure that seeks to hasten the procurement process for COVID-19 vaccines by exempting local government units (LGUs) from compliance with the requirements under Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

“We will put in the law that we will pass guidelines for the prioritization of the vaccine administration in order to lessen the opportunity to play politics,” he said.

Drilon reiterated everyone should receive the vaccines regardless of political affiliation, religion, economic status, etc.

“Wala akong sinasabing may namumulitika na, ngunit mabuti na lagyan natin ng (I’m not saying that someone is already playing politics, but its best to set in place) guidelines,” he stressed. Malacañang earlier released the list of specific priority groups for vaccination against COVID-19. Among those included in the list are frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens.