Duterte: Police, military should be priority for COVID vaccination

President Duterte reiterated his order to prioritize the police and military men in the ongoing vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), underscoring their important role in keeping the country safe amid the pandemic.

President Duterte delivers his public address (File Photo: Malacañang photo)

Duterte made the statement as he noted anew that vaccines should be immediately administered to people to avoid spoilage.

In a pre-recorded public address aired on Tuesday, the President reminded vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. that police officers, as well as soldiers, should be put on the priority list.

"Sundalo pati pulis, lahat. Pati itong --- kung madala ‘yang pamilya nila, okay na, tutal nandiyan na ‘yong mga bakuna (The soldiers and the police, all of them. If we can include their families, then good. After all, the vaccines are here already)," he said.

Duterte underscored the importance of the role of the members of the police and the military in keeping peace and order and protecting the country.

"They group together, so they must have the vaccine. So sabi mo ngayon na (right now), give them the priority," he said.

"Pati 'yong pamilya nila okay na rin (Let's give it to their families as well)... As long as there are the vaccines, we will give them to everybody," he added.

This was not the first time Duterte expressed his desire to have the police and the military prioritized in the vaccination program that started on March 1.

Police and soldiers were originally the fifth on the priority list of the government’s vaccination program before they were pushed up to Priority Group A4 or government and economic frontliners.

In January this year, President Duterte asked Galvez to include the families of the uniformed personnel in the priority list.

“Magpunta ‘yung mga mag-inject sa mga kampo, turukan pati ‘yung mga anak ninyo (Those who will administer the vaccine will go to the camps and vaccinate your children as well),” Duterte said.

“So ito lahat, libre ito... para hindi kayo mag-worry (This will be for free so you won’t have to worry),” he added.