Solon seeks ‘instant sanctions’ for gov’t execs who skipped vaccine priority list
MANILA, Philippines — Show cause orders for local officials who jumped the line in the vaccine priority list are no longer enough, and “instant sanctions” should be meted on them to set an example to would be-violators, Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo said Friday.
Castelo said it is only by imposing penalties swiftly on violators and responsible officials that the government could send the message that it is serious in enforcing pandemic response measures impartially.
“Show cause orders and citations of law or rules are not enough. We should have instant sanctions for vaccine queue jumpers and those with command responsibility for violations to set the example for all concerned and the general public,” Castelo said in a statement.
“As it is, there is the perception that only the small fry like localized lockdown breakers are caught and penalized instantly, while pasaways in high places get away with infractions,” the lawmaker added.
Castelo said it is “unbelievable” that those who skip the priority list can think they can get away with getting vaccinated as “substitutes” for healthcare workers who were absent or who refused the jabs.
“That’s just an alibi. There are many doctors, nurses, other medical practitioners, and hospital personnel who are willing to take the vaccine to protect themselves from the virus and continue attending to patients,” she said.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier issued show cause orders to five mayors for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the prioritized sector.
Following the issuance of such orders on the five mayors, seven other mayors and one councilor may also be asked to explain why they got their COVID-19 shots ahead of those in the priority list, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said Friday. — Liezelle Soriano Roy, Trainee
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