Duterte hits LGU for letting people queue for vaccines amid rain, flood
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte vented his frustration over a local government unit that allegedly left people lining up for COVID-19 vaccines amid heavy rains and floods, saying that the officials should have used other more secured areas instead.
Duterte said during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday that he glanced upon news reports showing people enduring floods, rains and long queues at the same time while just trying to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Such practices, the President noted, show how far away or detached officials of that local government is from the people.
“It seems that this government is too far away from the people, ‘yong serbisyo talaga na totoo, noong isang araw nakita ko, I don’t have to know what place was that, ang mga tao naka-pila and they say that they were there at four o’clock, malakas ‘yong ulan nasa payong lang sila,” Duterte said.
(The real service…just the other day I saw, I don’t have to know what place was that, the people are falling in line as early as 4 a.m., during heavy rain and they are only shielded from the elements with their umbrella.)
“So nanood ako sa report […] I was listening to the TV, at nakita ko ‘yong mga tao nakapila malakas ang ulan, sabi ko, p*ta — doon sa breakfast table nagmura ako, pero dito good boy man ako kasi may mga religious dyan — I just called on the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to see to it that this happens, I mean the protection,” he added.
(So I was watching this report, I was listening to the TV and I saw people in line in the midst of heavy rain, I said son of a b**** at the breakfast table I swore but here I am a good boy because there are religious people.)
Duterte furthermore said that the local government supposedly announced that vaccines were already available to different people, which eventually resulted into people rushing to vaccination sites despite the rain and floods.
“Bakit mo papilahin, at sabi kasi doon, libre lahat na, wala nang ano, so nagpuntahan ‘yong mga tao, nagpila, kasi wala nang lista-lista, pero sabi no’ng mga iba alas kwatro pa sila […] alam mo sa totoo lang, hindi naman ako nagyayabang, I’m just an ordinary Filipino citizen, just like you I get hurt when people are almost brutalized,” he explained.
(Why would you let people queue, it’s free already, no more… so many people came and fell in line, because no more listing needed, but some people said they were there as early as 4 a.m., you know what I don’t want to brag but I am also an ordinary Filipino citizen, just like you I get hurt when people are almost brutalized.)
“Bakit hindi ka mag-kuha, it’s rain time, malakas ang southwest monsoon dumadaan talaga sa Pilipinas. Gamitin mo utak mo, you should look for a gym at bigyan mo lahat ng tao ng number — hanggang dito lang for the (day), hanggang dito lang tayo, balik kayo […] bigyan mo ng card, prepare a card where you can, the marshal will go around the queueing,” he added.
(Why don’t you get…it’s rainy season, the southwest monsoon is active and really passing across the Philippines. Use your head, you should look for a gym and give people a control number, so they would know it’s only up to this number for the day, the other may return tomorrow, give them card, prepare a card where you can, the marshal will go around the queue.)
The Chief Executive did not reveal what LGU he was referring to, but there were reports the previous week, when Typhoon Fabian intensified the southwest monsoon and brought rains over Luzon, that people had to wade through floodwaters to get their vaccine shots.
One of the cities that continued the vaccinations was Manila, a flood-prone area in the capital region. However, contrary to what Duterte said, the vaccination facility that got flooded was actually a covered court — the San Andres Sports Complex.
Other cities like Marikina and Valenzuela have also experienced flooding near vaccination sites, leading to a suspension of the vaccination for the day.
Duterte said he wanted to confront the officials, but the Presidential Security Group (PSG) prevented him from doing so.
“Tarantado na, kaya lang ako — well it is to my chagrin, gusto kong lumabas itong PSG lang na ito ang (ayaw). You know sabihin ko sa inyo, ‘wag kayong mag-presidente, wala talaga, sabihin ko, maliit ang sweldo, wala ka, if you’re not there really for the, ma-corrupt ka dyan, it will make you a billionaire overnight. But kung magtrabaho ka lang ng ganito, ako presidente, gusto ko lumabas hoy mga p*tang *na niyo, bakit ganito ‘to?” he asked.
“Bakit gano’n kayo ka-istupido? I mean the Filipino does not deserve even if they are not paying taxes, because the theory of the government is that all money belongs to the people,” he added.
As of Monday, the Philippines have 1,555,396 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 55,140 or 3.5 percent are active infections. There are 1,473,009 recoveries across the country, while the death toll has ballooned to 27,247.
To counter the rising cases and the spread of variants of concern like the Delta variant, the country is banking on COVID-19 vaccines. On Friday, the country recorded the highest single day administered jabs at 472,356, bringing the total doses given to over 16 million.
Of this, at least five million have been fully vaccinated.
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