Vice President Leni Robredo is “very much willing” to extend her newest initiative, the Vaccine Express, to Visayas and Mindanao in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Robredo said this in response to the appeal of Cagayan de Oro Rep. and House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez to expand the drive-through vaccination program to Visayas and Mindanao, which are now experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“@RepRufus We are very much willing. Will ask our team to coordinate with yours,” she said in a tweet on Wednesday, June 23.
After thanking the vice president, Rodriguez reiterated that “we need your project here in CDO to vaccinate more people. We need much help that we can get for my constituents in Cagayan de Oro City.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson replied to the Twitter thread, saying that this is a positive side of the social media platform. “Kudos to VP Leni and Cong Rufus.”
In his appeal, Rodriguez said that the provinces also need pandemic response interventions because these areas are now experiencing outbreaks while cases in Metro Manila “have either plateaued or rising and falling by just a small margin.”
“The vice president should include cities in Mindanao and Visayas such as Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo where COVID-19 cases are increasing, instead of Manila, which has already given so much vaccines to its residents,” he said in a statement.
Rodriguez, who is from the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), cited the latest OCTA Research findings that categorized Davao City, Bacolod, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro, and Tacloban as “areas of concern.”
His appeal came on the second day of the two-day vaccination drive organized by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in partnership with Manila City government and the private sector.
The Vaccine Express initiative was able to inoculate some 2,275 tricycle, pedicab, and delivery riders on June 22, Tuesday, the first day of the program.
Each of the drivers was given a P500 fuel incentive from the SeaOil Foundation to encourage them to get their COVID-19 jabs at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex.
“I was able to talk to a number of drivers and they were very thankful that they did not have to get off their service vehicles to get vaccinated and that they can resume with their work after getting jabbed,” Robredo said in a Facebook post.
The purpose of the Vaccine Express is to make it easier for the country’s economic frontliners to get their jabs. This was done to boost the government’s vaccination program now that it is starting to inoculate those in the A4 category.
After targeting tricycle, pedicab, and delivery riders, Robredo and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno plan to bring the Vaccine Express to vendors.