Duterte lauds law-abiding Filipinos: No riot at PH vaccination sites so far

Published July 25, 2021, 12:35 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines is in a better situation compared to other countries in terms of vaccination efforts, according to President Duterte.

A senior citizen receives a J&J Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at the Justo Lucban Elementary School in Manila on July 21, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

As more people get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the President is grateful that the country has not yet seen any riot in the vaccination sites, unlike in some other nations.

Duterte, in a televised address Saturday, July 24, credited the law-abiding Filipinos for the smooth vaccine rollout so far although he wanted authorities to avoid letting people wait in line for hours to get vaccinated especially during stormy weather.

“One thing going in our favor is really in other countries, they are having riots about the bakuna (vaccine). In Indonesia, in some parts of iyong sa France. But mabuti ito (it’s good here) we are better off because our citizens are really law-abiding citizens and you can tell by the respond of the people,” he said.

“We have yet to see a ruckus there somewhere regarding the vaccination process. Wala tayong mga ano ‘yun nagri-riot ‘yung iba eh. Dito wala, naghihintay (We don’t have riots. It is happening elsewhere. Here, people wait in line),” he said.

The President however appealed to local government units to be “more circumspect” in ensuring their constituents get vaccinated at a safe and dry vaccination site.

Duterte was not pleased when he saw a photo of people wading through floodwaters while waiting for their turn to receive the vaccine. The photo was included in the report of vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. who cited the vaccination drive continued “rain or shine, day and night.”

Duterte however expressed concern that people become exposed to health risks when they line up for vaccination in flooded areas. He asked the local government officials to craft a “more insane” vaccination process.

“The picture that you saw. That ought not to be repeated. I would task the Secretary of Local Government to — I don’t know how he would do it but find a solution to the problem,” he said.

Of the country’s 30 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, more than 5 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated so far. The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million adult Filipinos to reach herd immunity before the end of the year.