Rizal solon bats for priority vaccination in 'commuter towns' adjacent to NCR

Published June 18, 2021, 10:58 AM

by Ben Rosario

As the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program continue to gain success in Metro Manila, an administration lawmaker urged government to start fanning out the vaccine supply to so-called commuter towns in Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite as part of the anti-pandemic strategy.

Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles said vaccine prioritization is proposed to towns adjacent Metro Manila, pointing out that these are areas where significant number of workers in the national capital region reside.

Nograles was referring to the towns and cities that share boundaries with Metro Manila localities like Obando, Meycauayan Marilao and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Rodriguez, San Mateo, Antipolo City, Cainta and Taytay in Rizal; Bacoor and Dasmariñas in Cavite and San Pedro in Laguna.

“It is a good thing that the vaccine rollout in Metro Manila is already gaining momentum. As such, we are urging the national government to prioritize the towns and cities in nearby provinces that share boundaries with NCR,” said Nograles, vice chairman of the House Committee on Justice.

.”The way we see it, faster vaccine rollouts in these commuter towns will expedite the return to normalcy of the country’s economic center and towards full economic recovery for the Filipino people,” he said.

The Rizal province solon explained that commuter towns are localities that “serve as bedroom communities to hundreds and thousands of Metro Manila workers.”

“If neglected in the next vaccine rollout, commuter towns could be new areas of concern as the residents in these communities are exposed to possible spreaders from Metro centers,” Nograles added.

The lawmaker also said that the municipalities and cities mentioned host several relocation sites that cater to a large number of urban poor families and prioritizing these areas is in line with the commitment of no less than President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure the protection of the poorest of the poor.

“Certainly, the dividends for herd immunity in commuter towns will redound not only to its residents but to the entire country as well,” Nograles stated.