SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go said that President Rodrigo Duterte may get vaccinated in public upon the approval of his physician in an effort to boost the vaccine confidence of Filipinos.

During an ambush interview on Thursday, February 11, after he personally attended the opening of the country’s 101st Malasakit Center in Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Go said that he has discussed public vaccination with Duterte who is open to the idea if his physician permits it.

“Nagkausap na rin kami ni Pangulong Duterte. Plano na rin n’yang magpabakuna kung pumayag na po ang kanyang doktor at dapat po itong isa-publiko para makuha po ang kumpiyansa ng mga Pilipino para magpabakuna ang iba,” Go said during the interview.

“Kasi, kadalasan sa ngayon ay nagtuturuan. Gusto magpabakuna, ayaw nila mauna. So, sino ang dapat mauna, ‘yung mga opisyales natin,” he added.

As public servants, Go added that he and Duterte are willing to serve as an example and get the confidence of the Filipinos on COVID-19 vaccines.

“Alam n’yo, not because kaming mga opisyales ay prayoridad sa bakuna. Hindi po dapat ‘yan. Pero bilang isang ehemplo, to get the confidence of the Filipino people, ang mga opisyales, si Pangulong Duterte, si Sec. (Carlito) Galvez, Sec. (Francisco) Duque ay dapat po manguna sa pagpapabakuna,” he said.

The Senator also assured that the government is in the final stages of procuring the vaccines and is ensuring that Filipinos will get safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

“Ngayon po ay ongoing na po ang national government, along with local government units, sa pagpo-procure ng bakuna,” he said.

“Sinisigurado muna natin na safe at effective itong bakuna, safety at efficacy ng bakuna ang uunahin natin. Ngayon, kung certified na ito na safe ay sisiguraduhin namin ni Pangulong Duterte na mauuna ang frontliners, mahihirap at madi-distribute po ‘yan all over the country,” he assured.

He emphasized that no one should be left behind towards recovery.

“Huwag natin pabayaan ang mga kababayan nating mga mahihirap, lalo na ‘yung mga ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’ at ‘yung mga nasa malalayong lugar na hindi alam saan kukuha ng bakuna. ‘Yung iba po, hindi pa alam kung ano ito. Sisiguraduhin nating walang maiiwan tungo sa ating muling pagbangon,” Go said previously.

Earlier, Go said the 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines are expected to be delivered in more or less three weeks from now based on his discussion with vaccine czar Sec. Galvez. He also shared that the Sinovac vaccines to be donated by China are expected to arrive in the country soon and President Duterte plans to set aside a portion of this to vaccinate uniformed personnel.

In a press briefing on Thursday too, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the Sinovac vaccines will be arriving in the Philippines on February 23. China has pledged to donate 600,000 doses of vaccines while the country seeks to buy 50 million more doses.

Vaccine orders from private companies are expected to also arrive in May as disclosed by Galvez to Go. Meanwhile, 30 million doses of Novavax vaccine from India are expected to arrive earlier in April until December in phases.

As for the country’s path towards economic recovery, he said that he is in favor of the proposed Bayanihan 3 measure to provide further assistance to Filipinos, particularly those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“Ako po ay pabor ako d’yan sa Bayanihan 3. Pinag-aaralan na po ng ating finance managers ngayon kung may available funds ang gobyerno. Kung may pang-ayuda, ibigay n’yo na po sa tao kung maaari,” Go said.

“Alam n’yo po, mahirap ang buhay ngayon, maraming nawawalan ng trabaho. Ang nawawalan ng trabaho po, may pamilyang binubuhay, pinapakain po ‘yan. So, kung anong ayudang ibibigay, tulungan natin. Kung sakaling pumasa ang Bayanihan 3, meron na pong finile sa Congress, kami naman po sa Senado, handa kaming sumuporta sa legislative measures po ng Pangulo na nakakatulong po sa mahihirap,” he added.

While a Bayanihan 3 measure is being deliberated, concerned government agencies continue to give assistance to Filipinos under their programs, according to the Senator.

“Tuluy-tuloy po ang tulong ng gobyerno, ang DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) sa mga nawalan ng trabaho. Sa mga umuuwing OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), meron din pong tulong,” Go said, adding that he is pushing for the establishment of a department for overseas Filipinos to improve services to Filipinos abroad.

“Isinusulong ko ang DOFil kung saan nasa isang departamento ang iba’t ibang agencies na tumugon agad tumulong. ‘Di na kailangan manawagan pa sa Facebook, sa radyo. Itong departamento na po ang tutulong sa ating mga OFW na tinatawag nating modern day heroes,” he ended.

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