Put barangay frontliners under 'A1' group in COVID-19 vaccination drive – lawmaker | Inquirer News
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Put barangay frontliners under ‘A1’ group in COVID-19 vaccination drive – lawmaker

/ 04:00 PM March 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Barangay officials and watchmen (tanod) should be included in the highest priority group of the national government’s vaccination program against COVID-19 as their work frequently exposes them to risks of infection, Deputy Speaker Bienvenido Abante Jr. said Monday.

According to him, his office has been receiving requests to place barangay officials and watchmen under the A1 group, alongside health workers and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHRET).

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Abante said barangay officials have also been responsible for implementing national government directives to address the pandemic such as strict community quarantines.

“In our communities, barangay officials have been outside doing their jobs from the first days of the lockdown––distributing aid, monitoring COVID cases in their localities, keeping order, and ensuring that health protocols like social distancing are being followed in their areas,” he said in a statement.

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“Unfortunately, I have received reports from our Liga ng Barangay that in the conduct of their duties, barangay officials have contracted COVID and have even died from the disease. Given what they are being tasked to do, they need the protection that can be provided by vaccines,” he added.

The House leader also said that barangay officials can be tapped to assist when the time comes that vaccines can already be administered to the public.

“Since that is the case, we have to recognize that all barangay workers––not just barangay health personnel––require these vaccines,” Abante said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that local officials have already been moved to the fourth spot in the government’s vaccination ranking or A4, trailing frontline health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3).

KGA

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TAGS: A1, Barangay, Benny Abante, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Health, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, vaccine, Virus
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