Non-resident Makati workers covered by free Covid-19 vaccination — Mayor Abby
MANILA, Philippines — Makati City’s free Covid-19 vaccination program will also cover non-city resident employees of all registered businesses in the city, Mayor Abby Binay announced Sunday.
Binay said the city’s P1-billion budget for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines and its share of vaccines procured by the national government will be enough to cover all Makati-based businesses, from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to large companies.
“We are confident we will have enough to cover our essential workers who keep businesses running,” she said in a statement.
“We will use the number of employees declared by the businesses in their business permit applications as basis for the number of employees who will be vaccinated for free. This is our way of helping our economic frontliners,” she added.
To qualify, Binay said companies must have a “2021 business permit and are up-to-date with their tax payments, including those paying in installments.”
Companies that have purchased vaccines for their employees will no longer be included, she noted.
Expanding the scope of the city’s vaccination program to the business sector will help boost its efforts to sustain the city’s economy through a 100-percent Covid-19 vaccination coverage.
She pointed out that the city’s daytime population balloons to nearly five million as millions of non-residents report for work in Makati City – based businesses.
Makati City, Binay said, has a resident population of over 500,000.
Binay, meanwhile, allayed fears among residents and workers who may be apprehensive about the vaccine’s possible adverse side effects.
She assured that the city will cover medical expenses and hospital bills of those who experience any adverse effects linked to the vaccine.
“Anybody who experiences adverse effects will receive free hospitalization. For non-residents it will be covered by Philhealth and the ‘Malasakit Financial Assistance’ from the Department of Health,” Binay said.
She said Makati residents will be given free medical and health assistance through the city’s “Yellow Card program.”
Combating Covid-19 scourge
“Getting vaccinated is our best hope of fighting the coronavirus. It is a chance to regain mobility, and jumpstart the economy,” she said.
“We do not have to live in fear of infecting our families and loved ones each time we come home from work,” she added.
Binay said the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in February and will be administered to the city’s frontliners.
The rest of the vaccines will arrive by the third quarter of the year, she added.
The city will also wait for its allocation from the national government.
‘Bakuna’ info drive
Binay then underscored the importance of building up the vaccination confidence among residents and educating them about why they should have themselves vaccinated.
“Makati is 100 percent ready. Our logistics and pre-vaccination and post-vaccination monitoring systems are in place. We are just waiting for the vaccines to arrive,” she said.
“The challenge for now is convincing people to get vaccinated. We have to improve our information dissemination drives and make people understand that the vaccines are good, they are safe, and they will be well taken care of — no matter what,” she added.