COVID-19 vaccination for domestic workers to start in June

Published May 25, 2021, 4:06 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Domestic workers or kasambahay will likely be included in the list of indigent population up for coronavirus vaccination next month, Malacañang said Tuesday.

A health worker prepares to administer a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination site in Manila on May 14, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/ Manila Bulletin)

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the domestic workers are considered “indigents” and could be given vaccine priority under A5 cluster.

The government plans to start giving free vaccines to A4 (essential workers) and A5 (indigent population) priority groups next month. The guidelines on the vaccination of these clusters are expected to be released soon.

“Iyong mga kasambahay, tingin ko po mako-consider iyan as indigents din, eh mayroon naman po tayong mga pruweba (The domestic worker can be considered indigents and we can get proof),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, May 25.

“Required na po ngayon talaga na magbigay po ng SSS (Social Security System) at PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) sa ating mga kasambahay sang-ayon sa Kasambahay Law at siguro po iyon ang pruweba na pupuwedeng ipakita (It is required to give SSS and PhilHealth to our domestic workers based on the law and these could be the documentary proof that can be presented),” he added.

In the vaccine rollout of A5 group, Roque said the government intends to start with the list of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

He recognized though that there are other poor Filipinos eligible for vaccination even if they do not benefit from the government’s cash subsidy program.

“Simulan natin iyong listahan ng 4Ps kasi iyan po ang garantisado na sila po ay mga indigents. Pero tama po, hindi po iyan exclusive (We wills tart with the list of 4Ps beneficiaries because that is a guarantee that they are indigents. But you’re right, that’s not exclusive),” he said.

“This is without prejudice po doon sa iba pang mahihirap dahil alam po natin na hindi naman lahat ay nakalista po sa 4Ps (This is without prejudice to other poor Filipinos because we known not everyone is listed under 4Ps),” he said.

The President earlier ordered authorities to distribute the Pfizer vaccines donated by COVAX facility to the country’s indigent population. He wanted the vaccines distributed in poor communities with low vaccine uptake instead of shopping malls.

At present, the government has given vaccine priority to health workers, senior citizens and people with comorbidity. More than 4 million doses have been administered since the vaccination effort started last March.