This is how the 5,000 'workers' vaccines' will be split on Labor Day, according to Bello

Three thousand jabs for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and 2,000 jabs for local minimum wage earners.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III (L) and DOLE Director Rolly Francia during the online press briefing on April 28, 2021. (Photo screengrab from DOLE Facebook page)

That's how the 5,000 anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine doses the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to receive from vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. will be apportioned for the "symbolic" inoculation of workers this coming Labor Day.

"Ito ay symbolism ito ng pagpapahalaga natin sa mga manggagawa. Kasama naman talaga sila sa mga priority sector (This is a symbolism of how much we give importance to our workers. They really were included in the priority sector)," DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday, April 28 during a virtual press briefing.

May 1 or Labor Day will be celebrated on Saturday.

Bello said he doesn't know yet what vaccine brand Galvez would give him, but the former said he wasn't going to be fussy about it. "Hindi ako partikular, either way tatanggapin ko yan (I'm particular about it, either way I will accept the vaccines)." It was last week when Bello first floated the possibility of Filipino workers' inoculation from the dreaded COVID-19 on Labor Day. The event is seen by some as a mini-rollout of vaccines for the A4 priority group.

This category involves frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel. OFWs were the most recent addition to A4.

The DOLE chief said the list of the 5,000 beneficiaries will be finalized and sent to the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID Wednesday afternoon. He said that Galvez will be the one to determine the vaccination sites.

"Maraming venue ito kasi kung isa lang, magkaka-mass gathering (We will have multiple venues for this because if we only use one venue, then we would have a mass gatherings)," Bello pointed out. Mass gatherings have largely been prohibited in the country since the pandemic began last year.

Bello said the 3,000 OFW beneficiaries were determined through recommendations coming from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and OFW associations.

Meanwhile, local labor unions and employees helped DOLE pick the 2,000 minimum wage earner-employees who will be vaccinated Saturday.