Duterte contented with COVID-19 vaccination program

Published April 20, 2021, 12:06 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte was happy with the Philippines’ performance in terms of vaccinating the population against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on April 19, 2021.

Duterte made the statement after Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez reported that the Philippines is third among Southeast Asian countries in vaccinating its citizens.

In his pre-recorded public address on Monday, the President said he was happy with the Philippines’ ranking in terms of vaccination.

“Maganda ang record natin (We have a good record) despite unfounded criticisms. To think that people were almost in a quandary where to get the next vaccination,” he said.

“Nakita niyo naman na hindi pala tayo yung pinaka mahina (You see that as it turns out, we are not the last). It goes to show that we are working really hard, especially Secretary Galvez, to get the vaccines here in the Philippines on time although it’s not as fast as people would like to expect,” he added.

The President likewise was glad that about the vaccination of healthcare workers in the country, the priority in the government’s vaccination program.

“We are able to vaccinate a lot of people and I am happy that we have completed the vaccination of the medical people,” Duterte said.

However, Galvez’s presentation in the same meeting showed that only 965,960 healthcare workers have received the first dose. The government’s target is 1.7 million healthcare workers.

Based on Galvez’s presentation, the government has vaccinated 1,279,223 Filipinos and 1,477,757 vaccines were administered. The country rolled out its vaccination program on March 1.

In terms of vaccine rollout, the Philippines ranked 41st out of 173 countries. It ranked 14th out of 47 countries in Asia, and third among 10 ASEAN countries.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines is next to Indonesia with 16,740,076 doses administered and Singapore with 1,667,522 doses.

According to Galvez, the bulk of the Philippines’ vaccine orders are expected to arrive in the country in the third quarter of the year.