MANILA

Military starts preparing for anti-Covid vaccination program

MANILA. Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Felimon Santos Jr. (center). (File photo)

ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr. on Friday, July 31, 2020, instructed his men to plan and prepare for the implementation of a vaccination program against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Ikinatutuwa po natin ang malaking tiwala Sa AFP ng ating Commander-in-Chief,” AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said in a statement, following the televised speech of President Rodrigo Duterte Friday.

“Bagaman at kababanggit pa lang ng Pangulo ang tungkol sa bagay na yan, kaagad pong inatasan ng ating AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos, Jr. ang kanyang mga staff upang pagpaplanuhan at paghandaan ‘yan before December kung kailan pinaniniwalaan na magkakaroon na ng vaccine para sa Covid-19,” he added.

Duterte said the vaccine may be available in the Philippines by December.

"By December, we would be back to normal. By December, tapos ito lahat. Ito ang guarantee ko, ang unang makakatanggap, 'yung sa mahirap, 'yung binibigyan ng assistance ng gobyerno, iyong mga nasa ospital, tapos middle income. Libre ito," he said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said P20 billion would be needed to purchase the vaccine.

Duterte said in the distribution of the vaccines, he will prioritize the poor families, followed by the middle-income families along with the police and the military.

"Ang una talaga 'yung mga tao sa listahan na tumatanggap ng assistance sa gobyerno. Ngayon, pangalawa, 'yung middle income. Libre ito, hindi ko ito ipagbili," Duterte said.

"'Yung mga upper income bumili na lang kayo," Duterte said.

He said to ensure the efficiency in the distribution and management of the vaccines, he will tap the military as the implementing arm.

“Ibigay ko sa barangay ang barangay captain...mamulitika. Unahin nya.. sya mayaman na ako muna, ‘yung mga kalaban niya sa pulitika hindi mabigyan, ‘yung ayaw niya hindi mabigyan. Ngayon sino ang magdala nito? Military. Im asking the Armed Forces,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)


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