Senator Joel Villanueva called on the government to include media workers on the COVID-19 vaccination priority list, calling them “information frontliners.”
“Press freedom and timely access to truthful information are a must in times of pandemic. Media should be included in the A4 list,” Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said on Tuesday.
“Ang media workers po natin ay ang ating information frontliners. Bukod sa peligroso ang kanilang trabaho, napakahalaga po ng kanilang ambag na kaalaman at impormasyon laban sa pandemya,” he added.
(Our media workers are our information frontliners. Aside from the fact that their work is dangerous, their contribution in providing knowledge and information to fight the pandemic is very important.)
According to the government, after vaccinating health workers, senior citizens, and people with illnesses or comorbidities against COVID-19, those in the A4 priority group will follow in the COVID-19 vaccination priority list.
The A4 group includes:
- A4.1 – Commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
- A4.2 – Frontline government workers in justice, security, transport social protection sectors
- A4.3 – Public and private wet and dry market vendors; frontline workers in grocery, supermarkets; delivery services
- A4.4 – Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
Include media workers in COVID-19 vaccination priority list: Villanueva
- A4.5 – Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
- A4.6 – Frontline government workers
- A4.7 – Frontline workers in financial services
- A4.8 – Teaching and related personnel in medical and allied medical courses of higher education institutions, including personnel handling laboratories
- A4.9 – Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation
- A4.10 – Priests, pastors, religious leaders regardless of denomination
- A4.11 – Construction workers in government infrastructure projects
- A4.12 – Security guards or personnel assigned in the establishments, offices, agencies, and organizations identified in these priority sectors
- A4.13 – Overseas Filipino workers not classified above, and scheduled for deployment within two months
Villanueva called on authorities to include media workers COVID-19 vaccination priority list.
“While most of our suggestions have been adopted, we continue to press our authorities to take a second glance at their initial list,” Villanueva said.
“Umaasa po tayo na pakikinggan ng ating mga kasamahan sa gobyerno, at tiwala tayong mauunawaan nila ang ating isinusulong (We hope our colleagues in government will heed our calls, and we trust that they would understand what we are pushing for),” he added.