Malacañang stressed that not following health protocols was the main contributor to the spike of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in some parts of the country.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas appealed for more COVID-19 vaccines to stop the surge in cases in his jurisdiction.
Iloilo City, which is under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month, has so far vaccinated only about 40,000 individuals.
In his press briefing on Monday, June 22, Roque said the real cause of the surge of cases was not the distribution of vaccines but because some Filipinos have become complacent and not following the government slogan “Mask, Hugas, Iwas.”
The slogan refers to three steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19: the wearing of face masks, handwashing, and physical distancing.
“I can assure Mayor Treñas that, unfortunately, pagdating po sa pagtaas ng kaso, ang solusyon po talaga ay ‘Mask, Hugas, Iwas’ at kabahagi po ng solusyon ay bakuna (when it comes to the spike in cases, the real solution is ‘Mask, Hugas, Iwas’ and part of it the vaccine),” Roque said.
“Pero ang dahilan po talaga ng paglobo, yung kakulangan sa ‘Mask, Hugas, at Iwas.’ ‘Yan na po ay established fact. At tsaka yung mga new variants po (But the real cause of it is the lack of ‘Mask, Hugas, Iwas’ and that is an established fact. The new variants are also factors, as well),” he added.
He, however, assured Treñas that the government is ramping up vaccine distribution in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases.
“Nag-order nga po ang Presidente ng equitable distribution– damihan ang mga bakuna doon sa mga lugar na lumulobo ang mga kaso (President Duterte has ordered an equitable distribution– add more vaccines to places with rising COVID-19 cases),” Roque said.
“Yun naman ay pinapatupad natin ngayon (We are implementing that now),” he added.
As of June 20, a total of 12,705,870 COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived in the Philippines. These include:
- 7,500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines
- 2,556,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines
- 2,469,870 doses of Pfizer vaccines
- 180,000 doses of Gamaleya vaccines
As of June 19, a total of 8,222,759 have been administered and 2,120,134 individuals have been fully vaccinated.