COVID-19 vaccination first before 'bubble' options are considered — Roque

Published August 23, 2021, 3:54 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said there were no plans yet to implement other special arrangements such as “bubbles” as the government was still in the process of vaccinating the population against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Commuters line up to board a bus along EDSA amid heightened movement restrictions in Metro Manila in this August 2021 file photo (Mark Balmores/Manila Bulletin)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the private sector proposed to have a travel bubble or a “micro-herd immunity” that aimed to boost economic activity in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In his press briefing on Monday, August 23, Roque said there were no talks to have other “bubbles.”

“Wala pang plano na mag-implement ng bubble (There are no plans yet to implement a bubble),” he said.

“Tuloy-tuloy muna po tayo ng ating bakunahan bago tayo siguro magkonsidera ng mga bubble na tinatawag (We will focus on the vaccination first before we consider these so-called bubbles),” he added.

In a virtual town hall on Monday, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the private sector was hopeful that Metro Manila would soon achieve “micro-herd immunity” that would in turn boost economic activity in the region.

Under their proposed travel bubble, the mobility of the unvaccinated would be limited from home to the workplace. On the other hand, the vaccinated population will be allowed to go to malls, restaurants, salons, and spas, and other areas that would be allowed to operate.

“For the vaccinated, there is greater mobility being proposed beyond the home to workplace and adding on to different business establishments that will be allowed so that at least we are allowing the vaccinated to create that economic activity,” Concepcion said.

“I felt that this roadmap of really trying to bridge both– helping both basically lives and livelihoods can be well established if we promote this micro-herd immunity,” he added.

Concepcion said Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has expressed support for the travel bubble proposal.