Robredo says LGUs hard-pressed to address vaccine hesitancy

Published May 29, 2021, 11:41 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Vice President Leni Robredo said someone else has to address the people’s fear of getting vaccinated as she pointed out that local government units (LGUs) were already overwhelmed in leading the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP photo)

In an interview with “Viewpoint” over the Now You Know Facebook page, Robredo said LGUs already have a lot on their plate to give them another task.

“We cannot depend on LGUs alone to address the fear… Masyadong overwhelmed ang LGUs sa trabaho ngayon (LGUs are already overwhelmed with the things they have to do),” she said.

“Ngayong talagang pandemic, yung LGUs talaga ang pinaka grabe ang trabaho (During this pandemic, it is the LGUs that have the most workload). They are taking care of so many things at the same time,” she added.

This week, Malacañang said it was not alarmed by reports that Filipinos in classes D and E were still hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as this may change the moment many people have received the jab.

A non-commissioned Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on May 20 found that only 32 percent of adult Filipinos were willing to get vaccinated. However, 51 percent of adult Filipinos were confident about the government’s evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Vice President hailed LGUs as the “strongest link” in the country’s battle against COVID-19.

“As it is now, I think our strongest link are the LGUs. The LGUs have been doing all they can para mahabol yung delays natin sa (to keep up with the delays in the) vaccine rollout,” she said.

Robredo also recalled how she went through the process to get vaccinated in Quezon City.

“I went through the entire process na hindi nag-pull strings (without pulling strings). The vaccine rollout in Quezon City, based on our experience, has been satisfactory,” she said.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of good things also in the vaccine rollout in many LGUs,” she added,

This month, the government’s pandemic task force placed governors and mayors further up in the COVID-19 vaccination program priority list, putting them right behind medical frontliners and ahead of senior citizens.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque defended this move, saying the local chief executives have been the ones implementing the government’s anti-COVID-19 measures.

“Kasi po ang mga mayor at gobernador ang nagpapatupad po ng (Because mayors and governors are the ones implementing the) prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and rehabilitation [strategy] na (that is a) cornerstone of our COVID program,” he said.

Roque added that local chief executives may not be doctors but they were instrumental in the country’s fight against the pandemic.

“Sila po ang nagpapatupad ng localized lockdown, sila po ang nagpapatupad ng vaccination, sila po talaga ang intrumento sa paglaban natin sa COVID-19 (They are the ones implementing the localized lockdown and the vaccination so they really are instrumental in our fight against COVID-19),” he said.