Expert challenges Marcos to increase PH’s booster rate to 70 million in first 100 days

Published July 2, 2022, 12:07 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

A health reform advocate, on Saturday, July 2, challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to increase the country’s Covid-19 booster rate to at least 70 million within the first 100 days of his administration.

File photo (AFP/Manila Bulletin)

“Sa first 100 days ni President Marcos, ang kanyang decisive action ay dapat maitaas ang booster rate ng Pilipinas na pumantay manlang sa primary vaccine na 70 million (In the first 100 days of President Marcos, his decisive action should be increasing the booster rate of the Philippines to at least 70 million to match the current primary vaccine rate of the country) ,” said health reform advocate and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon in an interview over DZRH on Saturday morning.

This, according to the expert, would give way to the gradual reopening of the Philippine economy, adding that this has been proven in countries including Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand.

“Kapag mataas ang booster rate ng bansa, ito ay kahalintulad ng pagbubukas ng ekonomiya at yan din ay isang senyales na ‘yung face mask ay magiging optional na (When the country’s booster rate is high, it equates to the reopening of the economy. This is also a sign that face masks will be optional),” he further said.

Strategies to increase PH’s booster rate

In order to execute this plan, Leachon reiterated that Marcos should now appoint a secretary of health. To date, Marcos has yet to announce an officer-in-charge to succeed outgoing Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The expert then urged the President to mandate all cabinet members as well as the entire society to increase the country’s booster rate to at least 70 percent.

DOH’s data showed that only 15,017,716 Filipinos have so far been boosted against the disease as of Friday, July 1.

“[Solusyonan] natin ang pandemya by booster katulad ng ginawa ng southeast asian countries na nakita nating successful (Let us solve the pandemic by administering booster jabs, similar to what southeast asian countries have done, which also came out as successful),” he added.