PH gov’t monitoring VisMin areas with low Covid-19 vaccination rate

Ahead of the May 2022 polls, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 special adviser Dr. Teodoro “Ted” Herbosa, on Sunday, April 24, said that the national government is currently monitoring Visayas and Mindanao areas with low Covid-19 vaccination rate.


Herbosa, in an interview over DZRH, said that the low vaccination rate could trigger the occurrence of another Covid-19 surge.

In relation to this, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III previously stated that the national and local elections may be postponed in areas where there is an increase in Covid-19 infections.

“Ito ‘yung mga pinakamababa ang vaccination rate. Palagay ko kapag ang number of cases nila ay tumaas, posible na maitaas ‘yung alert level nila. Kapag tumaas ang alert level ay bawal ang mass gathering events at hindi talaga pwede ang pagpunta sa presinto para bumoto ang mga tao (These are the areas with the lowest vaccination rates. I think when the number of their cases increases, it is possible for their alert level to be raised. When the alert level rises, mass gathering events are prohibited and it will be impossible for people to go to the precinct to vote),” said Herbosa.

Herbosa likewise said that this is a “natural” public health measure in order to ensure the safety of all. However, he added that this could be prevented if Filipinos get inoculated against the disease.

“Pwedeng mangyari ‘yan at pwede ring magawan ng paraan para matuloy pa rin ang voting kung maganda ang vaccination rate. Kaya talagang pinupush natin itong pagbabakuna lalo na sa mga lugar na mababa pa ang vaccination rate (That can happen and there can also be a way for the voting to continue if the vaccination rate is good. That is why we are really pushing for this vaccination, especially in areas where the vaccination rate is still low),” added Herbosa.

These areas, according to the expert, include municipalities in Visayas and Mindanao, adding that no Luzon areas had been included in the list.

Meanwhile, Herbosa reiterated that the decision whether to postpone or continue with the elections will still rely on the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) verdict, adding that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the DOH will only issue a recommendation on the country’s alert level status.