Fishers’ group calls for ‘free mass vaccine’ vs COVID-19
Manila, Philippines – The national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) calls for ‘free and massive vaccination’ against the pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“With consideration to the efficacy and safety of the vaccines being developed by established pharmaceutical companies, we demand that a significant segment of the working population be inoculated as a long-term solution to the pandemic,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
“It is now the national government’s crucial and urgent responsibility to ensure that large number of the population are immunized from the virus disease to let the affected workers get back to the wheels of production and go on with lives,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative further added.
PAMALAKAYA slammed the Duterte government’s lack of comprehensive vaccine plan, by allotting a measly P2.5 billion for COVID-19 vaccine on the approved 2021 budget, or a mere 2.7% of the total P72 billion required budget to vaccinate 60% of the population for free.
“The budget allocation for vaccine procurement on the 2021 national budget reflects the government’s misplaced priorities and unpreparedness in the pandemic response,” Hicap slammed.
Lastly, the fishers’ group said they will carry out their own education drive using the available scientific information on the necessity of the vaccines among the fishing communities, given the public’s fear on vaccines brought about by the Dengvaxia scare a few years back.