More than 40,000 military and civilian personnel of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana said a total of 40,059 DND and AFP personnel have already received an anti-COVID shot. This represents 26.6 percent of their total population.
“Kanina po nag-usap kami ni [vaccine czar] Secretary [Carlito] Galvez [Jr.] na kung pwede mabigyan na ng bakuna ang AFP para matapos na ang armed forces. Pagkatapos ng active military [personnel], isusunod natin ang pamilya nila (I talked to Secretary Galvez earlier and I asked him to send additional vaccines to the AFP so we can finish the vaccination of the armed forces. After the active military, we will vaccinate their families),” Lorenzana said during President Duterte’s pre-recorded public address which was aired late Tuesday night, July 6.
However, the status of the immunization program in the country hit a snag with the delayed delivery of vaccines. No vaccines have been delivered to the country as of Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Lorenzana said a total of 1,232,947 overseas Filipinos (OFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been repatriated by the national government after they got stranded or lost their jobs abroad as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 3,289 returning Filipinos who were stuck in Sabah, Malaysia have also been repatriated by the government as of June 28 while 4,683 others are still waiting to be sent home.
“Hindi pa po sila makaalis kasi hindi pa sila tinatanggap ng LGUs dahil sa mga variant na kumakalat sa Pilipinas (They could not leave because the local government units are still unwilling to accept them due to the variants that are spreading in the Philippines),” Lorenzana said.
The DND chief has been leading the repatriation efforts of affected Filipinos overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic since last year.