Go urges authorities to tap military reservists for vaccine roll out

Published May 22, 2021, 4:30 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday urged the government to mobilize the use of reservists of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to intensify efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.

“Ang totoo niyan ay kulang na kulang po tayo sa human resources (The truth is that we lack human resources). And, in order, to accelerate further our daily vaccination rate, I urged the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) to also tap our military reservists,” Go said.

Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, expressed his concern that there are challenges in deliveries and rollout of the vaccines due to human resource deficit, making it harder to reach herd immunity soon for the whole nation.

“Mas effective siguro (hopefully) to target herd immunity in critical areas. And this is easier to achieve in NCR Plus if we can push that vaccine rollout be faster than the infection rate,” Go suggested.

Go said that maximizing available human resources, including military reservists, will greatly help the government to respond and administer medical and healthcare needs at this time of crisis.

In addition to mobilizing military reservists, Go emphasized the need to establish more vaccination centers in the country to make sure that more Filipinos will get inoculated as soon as supplies come in.

“Umaapila rin ako na magtayo pa ng dagdag na vaccination centers sa kahit saang sulok ng bansa upang mas maraming tao ang mababakunahan kada araw (I also urge the construction of more vaccination centers even in far-away places in the country). Kung kailangang gawing 24/7 ang pagbabakuna, gawin natin ito upang maiwasan na may mag-expire o masayang na mga bakuna at para hindi rin magkumpulan ang mga tao doon (f need be, we must undertake a 24/7 vaccination effort to avoid vaccines from expiring and from people violating social distancing protocols),” the Senator said.

Go recently discussed with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. the possibility of utilizing the hospitals and camps of the military, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as additional vaccination sites.

“I spoke with vaccine czar Secretary Charlie Galvez who said that they have discussed the said suggestion and also said that they will use military, PNP and Philippine Coast Guard hospitals and camps as vaccination centers for government frontliners,” he added.

By having more vaccination centers, Go said this will not only speed up the rollout but also prevent unnecessary overcrowding and longer queues that may violate social distancing protocols.