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Ramp up vax drive, Go urges gov’t



Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday called on the government to ramp up its vaccination drive, saying it is the key to the country’s return to normalcy.

He also urged national and local officials to be creative and innovative in finding ways to reach every willing member of their community as soon as possible.

“If we have to, let us visit every household in every barangay to ensure that every Filipino is being taken into account when it comes to the vaccination program,” Go said in his weekly column “Going Forward.”

The senator lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent approval of additional budget to cover the payment of the Covid-19 Special Risk Allowance (SRA) to healthcare workers (HCW). This is the approval of the release of P1.185 billion charged against the 2021 Contingent Fund to cover the SRA of eligible private HCW and non-Department of Health (DoH) plantilla personnel who are catering to or in contact with Covid-19 patients.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go said he is always leading the call to ensure that healthcare workers are being taken care of and well compensated as they play a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic.

“Let us give them the proper support they need as they face unprecedented dangers in the performance of their duties,” he said.

Go admitted that he is pleased to see that skepticism regarding Covid-19 vaccines has continued to decrease, according to the latest SWS survey.

“As of 21 January, I am happy to share that the country had received a total of 215.52 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19. More than 57.09 million Filipinos were already fully vaccinated while another 59.72 million of our people got their first dose. Around 6.08 million booster shots were also administered,” he disclosed.

The former presidential aide pointed out that the information campaign must educate and convince every citizen about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine so more and more will be willing to take their respective jabs.

“Once again, I am pleading to every unvaccinated Filipino to reconsider your position amidst the reality we are facing now. It has been reported by the DoH that majority of those requiring mechanical ventilators in intensive care units in DoH hospitals are unvaccinated. We have also confirmed two deaths, both of which are unvaccinated, by the Omicron variant,” he explained.

As a senator, Go said he supports calibrated measures that would help curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

“I duly acknowledge that this policy is aimed at ensuring the safety of the riding public and keeping public transportation running amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila. This policy is intended to protect the unvaccinated individuals especially now that certain individuals have been testing positive in free, random, and voluntary Covid-19 antigen testing in our railways,” he said.