Tolentino lauds BARMM for intensifying Covid-19 vax drive

Published April 15, 2022, 10:01 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Francis Tolentino said he is elated to learn the decision of the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to intensify its Covid-19 vaccination drive saying this would not only fast track the government’s main goal of achieving herd immunity, but prevent spoilage of the jabs.

Tolentino lauded the BARMM’s Ministry of Health which has targeted to inoculate some 215,000 more residents from 71 identified localities which reportedly had a low percentage of vaccinated constituents.

BARMM has tallied the lowest vaccination coverage in the country, prompting President Duterte to call on its Chief Minister Ahod ‘Al-hajj Murad’ Ebrahim to encourage his people to get innoculated against Covid-19.

“We laud the BARMM governmetn for this innovative effort especially that millions worth of vaccines are set to expire,” Tolentino said.

“Inutang pa po natin ang pinangbili ng mga bakunang ito kaya dapat lang na walang masayang sa mga ito (We loand the funds we used to buy these vaccines that’s why it’s imperative that it won’t go to waste),” said Tolentino.

Earlier, the BARMM’s Ministry of Health announced that there would be a schedule of special vaccination days right after the end of the Ramadan and election period next month and it will commence from May 11 to 20.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, Tolentino visited Cotabato City last March 2, where he was briefed by Ebrahim and acting Health Minister Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas with updates on the region’s COVID-19 response.

During the visit, Tolentino raised concern over the reported low vaccination rate in the region, since only 1.4-million dose of various COVID-19 vaccine brands were reportedly given.

BARMM has a population of more than 4.1-million, but only less than half a million of its residents are fully vaccinated.