Achieve COVID jab target first before free movement for vaccinated people- Abalos

Published September 1, 2021, 4:44 PM

by Betheena Unite

Before allowing vaccinated individuals to avail of dine-in and personal care service in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), a certain target in vaccination must be reached first, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos (Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

He was responding to the question when asked if the proposed policy is being considered by Metro Manila mayors.

“Ang sa amin lang (Our concern is), we should really hit a certain target of the vaccinated. That’s very important for us. Kasi mahirap yung wala ka pa sa target na yun (Because it’s hard not to achieve a certain target yet) and then you will be setting up certain policies,” Abalos said during a press briefing Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“We reach that level muna kasi unfair naman sa mga gustong magpabakuna pero wala silang chance magpabakuna (We should reach a certain level first because it would really be unfair for unvaccinated people who want to get vaccinated but do not have the chance to),” Abalos added.

The chairman said that they are expecting to vaccinate more than 70 percent of the eligible population in Metro Manila by the end of September.

The policy to allow vaccinated individuals in establishments that remain closed due to the current community restrictions is aimed at reopening more parts of the economy.

The MMDA chief also emphasized that the policy, if approved and implemented, should not be discriminatory but instead would result in positive reinforcement.

“For example, the DTI has prohibited certain activities, however being vaccinated could be an incentive, allowing you to avail of the service. That’s what we are trying to study now to help the economy,” Abalos said.

“I think it’s possible, we’re just waiting for the details of that,” he added.