The National Task Force against COVID-19 announced this Sunday, mayors, and governors within areas considered critical or high-risk are now classified as healthcare front liners. And are also allowed to take the coronavirus vaccine ahead of the scheduled priority.
Confirmed by Philstar.com with the NTF deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon. He added that critical areas are not only limited to the "NCR Plus" bubble.
"The main reason for this is we consider them very essential front liners. In a war, the mayor and governors are our commanders in these front liners. They are the ones we rely on in the enforcement of the minimum health standards, for contact tracing, for the massive vaccination effort...it is very important that we recognize this," Dizon said.
"We are now very happy that they can be vaccinated, but they still have to follow the guidelines."
Furthermore, Dizon said that the investigation of the Department of Interior and Local Governments to the local executives who were thought to have jumped the priority lines is separated from the announcement of the resolution, and will not have any effect on the investigation. "Those incidents happened prior to this directive," he added.
The proposal started from a letter by the League of Cities of the Philippines which was addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte. The letter states a request for the local chief executives, mayors, and governors to be part of the first priority group and be vaccinated as a front liner.
To this, the President agrees and endorsed the proposition to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. The IATF-EID approved of the request but provided that to only over 400 mayors and governors in areas that the Department of Health classified as high-risk.
"Hopefully in the next couple of months...when our supply is already stable and sufficient, then all the other mayors in non-high-risk can already be vaccinated as well," Dizon said.
"It is important that we understand the reason for this is mayors especially in critical areas are essential front-liners who deserve to be protected."