Solon urges Filipino-Muslims to get COVID-19 vax; cites high vax rate in Islamic nations

Published February 13, 2022, 11:07 AM

by Seth Cabanban

Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes has called on the Filipino-Muslim community to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and urged the national government to address vaccine hesitancy.

“Sa mga Muslim na kapwa ko senior citizen, magpabakuna na rin po kayo. Gayundin ang panawagan ko sa mga kapatid nating Muslim na may alagang persons with disabilities (PWD) o may comorbidities (To my fellow Muslim senior citizens, please get vaccinated. I ask the same of Muslims taking care of PWDs or persons with comorbidities),” said Ordanes.

Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes (Photo from HOR website/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Ordanes referenced a COVID Resiliency report by Bloomberg from Jan. 27 detailing which countries had the best COVID-19 pandemic response and vaccination rates, something he says that health officials can cite to inspire Filipino-Muslims to get vaccinated.

Four of the top 10 scoring countries were Islamic nations, with the United Arab Emirates ranked highest overall (244.4 vaccine doses per 100 people), followed in second by Saudi Arabia (154.8 per 100), then Turkey placed fourth (164.8 per 100), Iran at seventh place (150.3 per 100).

“Para mas maunawaan ng ating mga kababayan, sariling rehiyunal na wika ng mga Filipino Muslims ang dapat gamitin sa pagngungumbinsi (The regional language of Filipino-Muslims should be used to convince the community so that they will understand),” explained Ordanes, referring public health informational materials and campaigns.

“Kausapin sila nang sinsero at alamin ang mga bagay na ipinag-aalala nila kaya’t ayaw pa nilang magpabakuna (Speak sincerely and understand why they don’t want to get vaccinated),” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte said during a “Talk to the People” public briefing on Jan. 24 that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is currently witnessing a growth in vaccine hesitancy due to culture and religion, something the national government is trying to address.