‘Good news’: Villanueva hails inclusion of more essential workers in vaccine priority group

Published April 16, 2021, 3:11 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Joel Villanueva lauded on Friday, April 16, the government’s move to update its list of frontline and essential workers to be prioritized in the nationwide vaccination program.


The chairman of the Senate labor committee described as “good news” the updated A4 vaccination priority group, which now includes overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), transport workers, and members of the media.

“Those who keep the public informed are as essential as those who teach, transport, feed, and protect us. By vaccinating them, we end up being protected as well. But in the case of our essential workers, there is double protection; aside from lives, livelihoods are likewise made safe,” said Villanueva, who earlier pushed the inclusion of more workers as well as members of the media in the A4 category.

Villanueva, however, stressed that for more people to be vaccinated, there should be more vaccine supplies in the country.

“The supply must meet the demand. The commendable move to include more people in the priority list will be cancelled by the lack of vaccines. Without the latter, rising demand will only lead to huge backlogs,” he warned.

“Ang listahan sa bakuna ay parang pong listahan sa ayuda. Ang mahalaga ay maibigay po ito sa mga pangalang nakasulat (The list for the vaccine is like a list for the distribution of aid. What’s important is that the vaccines are given to those whose names were already written),” he said.

“Ika nga (Like they say), ‘the proof of the listing is in the injecting’,” Villanueva pointed out.

“Let us hope that the reported production delays from vaccine manufacturers will not alter the delivery dates of the vaccines we have purchased,” he said.