Heading into the 2022 elections, the “best investment” of local chief executives gunning for another term or seeking a different post will be their current health program amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, a task force official leading the response efforts of the national government has said.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said people will remember a governor, mayor, or barangay captain’s plans and programs for their constituents since the start of the pandemic last year, especially if they were effective or not in the vaccination efforts.
“Ang pinakamagandang investment po natin sa political career ay itong health. Kailangan tulung-tulong po tayo sa pagbabakuna. Kung hindi po kayo tumulong sa pagbabakuna, hindi po kayo magkakaroon ng tsansa na manalo (The best investment in our political career is the health [program]. We need to work together in the vaccination program. If you did not help in the vaccination, you won’t stand a chance in winning [the elections]),” Galvez said on Saturday, Oct. 8.
As the election nears, concerns were raised as to whether or not the campaign season will affect the vaccination program of the local government units (LGUs).
There were fears that the national government’s vaccination program would be used as a “political weapon” by some politicians or it will be set aside as they prioritize their campaign plans.
But Galvez appealed to local chief executives to avoid using the vaccination program in their personal agenda since it would reflect on their performance as a public servant and, therefore, would be felt and seen by their constituents.
The task force leader said local chief executives should instead focus on inoculating as many constituents as possible so that their province, city, or barangay would recover quickly.
“Ang atin pong hinihingi na tinatawag na panawagan, gamitin po ang bakuna para po tayo ay magkaroon ng tinatawag na… makarecover po tayo kaagad. Just in case magkaroon ng surge, bakunado po ang majority ng ating mamamayan (We appeal to use the vaccines to help everyone recover. Just in case we experience another surge, then majority of the people will be vaccinated),” Galvez explained.
“As much as possible, gamitin po natin ang bakuna para makasave po tayo ng tao at para po tayo ay makarecover sa ating ekonomiya (As much as possible, let us use the vaccine to save the people so that our economy would recover),” he added.