Senator Francis Tolentino on Sunday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to implement the “waterfalls policy” to hasten the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination program so that the country could finally achieve herd immunity.
Tolentino said the IATF should allow the limited vaccine supply to cascade down to other groups in the priority list so as not to waste the time and effort of the government to secure the much-needed COVID-19 vaccines to jumpstart the economy.
Under the “waterfalls policy,” the senator said the IATF can re-allot the reserved vaccines for those who belong to the A2 and A3 categories who refused to get their jabs.
Tolentino said he believes that the number of people who wants to get vaccinated outweighs the number of those who are still hesitating to get their jabs.
He cited the case of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), who have yet to receive a single dose of vaccine since they were not included in the government’s priority list.
Tolentino pointed out elements from the AFP, PNP, and even PCG have also been at the forefront of the government’s fight against COVID-19 since Day 1, alongside medical front-liners.
“Meron (tayong) tinatawag na waterfalls policy, pababa yung cascading nito (We have what we call a waterfalls policy, it should cascade downwards),” Tolentino said during an interview over Radio DZBB.
“Kapag ayaw ng A3, ibigay sa A4, kapag ayaw ng A4 ibigay sa A5, kapag ayaw ng A5 ibigay sa B1 palagay ko ubos lahat yan (If those in A3 category refuses, they should give it to the A4; if those under A4 refuses, then give it to A5; if those in A5 refuses, give it to B1 classification. If they do that, all vaccines would be used up),” the senator stressed.
“Ang balanse po natin ay nasa 107,000 na lang na vaccine, itong bilang na ito baka 53,000 Filipinos lang yan, isang probinsya lang yan ubos po yan (We still have a balance of 107,000 vaccines. This numbers can accommodate 53,000 Filipinos. One province can use up all of the supply),” Tolentino said.
Tolentino also said that while he acknowledges the government’s efforts to fight the pandemic, there is still a need to strengthen information dissemination campaign to encourage other Filipinos to get inoculated.
He pointed out some are hesitant to get vaccinated but it is due to lack of information. The IATF, he said, should come up with a creative informational campaign to educate the people about the vaccine.