The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) plans to ask Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez to explain the COVID-19 vaccination of non-health workers.
According to DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, this includes actor Mark Anthony Fernandez.
Based on the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan, health workers in the country must be vaccinated before other priority sectors such as senior citizens and those with comorbidity or other diseases.
“Command responsibility niya po ang pagsisiguro ng ating vaccination plan ay nasunod sa kanyang lokal na gobyerno,” said Densing.
Parañaque Mayor, on the other hand, insisted that they did not violate the vaccination guidelines and he was ready to respond if given a show-cause order.
The medical team itself, he said, said that actor Fernandez was included in the quick substitution list because he had comorbidity.
“Mayroon siyang hypertension at mayroon siyang depression,” said Olivarez.
Fernandez made the same statement to ABS-CBN News.
Parañaque gov’t to explain why it vaccinated non-health workers
But Densing said, “Excuse na lang nila ‘yon, noong lumabas sa balita na nakapagpalusot sila ng non-priority individual, gumawa na lang sila ng rason.”
“At instead na senior citizens ang kanilang isinunod, hindi po nila ginawa ito,” he said.
The Parañaque Mayor clarified that not only Fernandez was stabbed but everyone on the substitution list who went to the vaccination site.
According to Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire, the explanation of those previously vaccinated is unacceptable.
“These are not acceptable justifications. I just really am so disappointed, because we are trying to protect our health care workers, especially at this time that the numbers are increasing and we would want them protected because they are taking care of all of us,” said Vergeire.
Vergeire insisted that quick substitutes should also be health workers.
“There are a lot of health care workers up until now calling us that they still have not been included in the master list,” she said.
“We are not going into the next sector yet. I do not believe that people do not know of this quick substitution because we have issued and disseminated this,” she added.