Gov’t must make vaccines more accessible, end 'discriminatory policies' —Robredo

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday, Jan. 20, assailed new government policies that discriminated against unvaccinated individuals instead of making vaccines more accessible for the people.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP photo)

Robredo lamented that workers who were not able to ride public transportation because of the government’s “no vaccination, no ride” policy were actually not anti-vaxxers.

Some of the workers interviewed said that they already have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but their second doses are not scheduled until February.

“Discriminatory talaga (really),” Robredo said of the policy on ANC’s Rundown.

The aspiring president also criticized the apparent “flip-flopping” on the said policy because it created even more confusion among the public.

The “no vaccination, no ride” policy took effect on Monday, Jan. 17, but the government said a day later that unvaccinated workers will be allowed to take the public transportation as long as they show their company ID.

READ: 'No vax, no ride' policy starts Monday; how will this be implemented?

Robredo, however, commended the government for using pharmacies to make the COVID-19 vaccines more accessible, which was a strategy used in the United States.

“Making the vaccinations available in pharmacies, this is a very good move but something that we could’ve done many months ago to make it more accessible,” she said.

Robredo suggested bringing the vaccination sites to transportation hubs, terminals, train stations, and other areas were “people conglomerate” so there is no need for them to miss work.

READ: COVID-19 vaccination in drug stores, clinics to be launched this week – DOH

The Vice President also doesn’t see the need to compare her COVID-19 kit with the Department of Health’s (DOH) Kalinga Kit.

“Hindi dapat minamaliit (It shouldn’t be belittled). Any initiative that will bring good to the people hindi na dapat pinagkukumpara (should not be compared anymore),” Robredo stressed.

Netizens on Wednesday, Jan. 19, questioned the items in the Kalinga Kit, finding it to be lacking compared to the COVID-19 kit prepared by the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

Among the items in Robredo’s kit are around 61 pieces of basic medicines, 30 pieces of vitamins, thermometer, pulse oximeter, oral rehydration, disinfectant, face mask, alcohol, garbage bag, and monitoring sheet.

The Kalinga Kit includes 20 pieces of basic medicine, 10 pieces of vitamins, face mask, soap, alcogel, disinfectant spray, and tips sheet.