Vax sites in Metro Cebu transport terminals eyed

CEBU CITY — Authorities here are eyeing to set up vaccination sites in transport terminals in Metro Cebu.

The idea was discussed in a meeting organized by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Inter-Agency Task Force Visayas, Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7), and the Project Balik Buhay, according to Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 chief pathologist and spokesperson for the Visayas COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Region 7 (LTFRB 7)and Land Transportation Office 7 (LOT 7), together with transport groups and operators, also joined the meeting that discussed ways of moving forward in ensuring the safety of the transport groups and passengers.

It was then agreed that vaccination sites in select and strategic terminals be set up to make vaccination more accessible to drivers, their assistants, the riding public, and their families as well, she added.

“For logistics and staffing (of the additional sites), we can plan this out with the LGU (local government units) where the terminals are located. No identified sites but we can request the transport group to identify,” Dr. Loreche said.

LTFRB 7 Regional Director Eduardo Montealto said two possible sites are the South Bus Terminal along Natalio Bacalso Ave., Cebu City, and the North Bus Terminal in Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Montealto explained that this plan has to be coordinated with and approved by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia since the two terminals are under the management of the provincial government.

He also disclosed that both the South Bus and North Bus terminals have sustained damages due to typhoon Odette so the vaccination may have to be done inside the buses.

The management of Ceres Bus has already agreed to have vaccinations conducted inside their buses, Montealto said, adding that he expects other bus companies to also allow vaccinations inside their buses. Ceres buses account for 70 percent of buses plying Cebu routes.

Victor Emmanuel Caindec, regional director of LTO 7, also offered the use of the LTO facility along Natalio Bacalso Ave., Cebu City as an additional vaccination site.

Based on the Vaccine Operation Reporting System (VORS) as of January 24, 2022, a total of 5,035,560 vaccine doses have already been administered in the entire Cebu.

Of this number, 2,676,843 are first doses; 2,258,831 second doses, and 99,886 booster doses.