CLARK FREEPORT -- The national fishers' group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) called for free and massive Covid-19 vaccination.
"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," said Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairperson.
He said it is 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.
Pamalakaya slammed the government by allotting a measly P2.5 billion for Covid-19 vaccine on the approved 2021 budget, or a mere 2.7 percent of the total P72 billion required budget to vaccinate 60 percent 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 said.
The fishers' group vowed to 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.