'Symbolic' Labor Day vaccinations will be Metro-wide–DOLE

Published April 30, 2021, 2:25 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The “symbolic” vaccination of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and minimum wage earners will take place simultaneously in all 17 local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila on Saturday morning, May 1, on the occasion of Labor Day.

DOLE Director Rolly Francia during the April 30, 2021 press briefing (Screengrab from Zoom meeting)

Thus, said Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Director Rolly Francia in virtual press briefing Friday, April 30. He said the vaccinations, which will cover individuals under the A4 priority group, will begin at “9 a.m. or earlier”.

However, Francia said the actual venues for the ceremonial inoculations have yet to be determined, at least as of this posting.

“[That] will still have to be determined in a meeting between DOLE and the Department of Health (DOH) by 3 p.m. [Friday],” said Francia, chief of the labor agency’s Information and Publication Service (IPS).

He also said that the previously announced 5,000 inoculations for Saturday would see a slight increase since there would also be similar rites happening in other regions of the country that day.

“Hindi ganun ka-sIgnificant [yung increase]. Ceremonial to, symbolic vaccination lamang po ito. Hindi pa ito talaga yung actual or total rollout ng vaccination [ng A4] (The increase won’t be that significant. This is merely a ceremonial, symbolic vaccination. This is not the actual or total rollout of the A4 vaccination),” he said.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday, April 28 that 3,000 OFWs and 2,000 minimum wage earners would get anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) jabs on Labor Day. He said the event was made possible thanks to the commitment of vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to deliver 5,000 vaccines for the occasion.

It is still unclear what brand of vaccines would be administered on the laborers, although Bello had already mentioned that he won’t be “choosy” about it.

The list of beneficiaries–assembled by DOLE via consultations with labor unions, employers, and OFW groups–was finalized on Wednesday afternoon. This means that the Labor Day vaccination sites won’t accept any walk-ins.