Inclusion of local chief execs in A1 vax list lauded

VACCINATION VISIT. Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia (standing, left) visited one of the vaccinations in the city on Friday (May 14, 2021). Over the weekend, the League of Cities of the Philippines, headed by Leonardia as national president, lauded the inclusion of the local chief executives in the priority group A1 for vaccination against Covid-19. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City PIO)

BACOLOD CITY – The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has lauded the inclusion of the local chief executives (LCEs) in the A1 priority group, along with workers in frontline health services, for vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“The LCP expresses its sincere gratitude to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for approving our request to reclassify LCEs as Priority Group A1,” the 146-member league headed by national president, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, said in a statement over the weekend released here on Sunday.
The LCEs have been placed, specifically under priority group A1.5, in the ongoing national vaccination program.
After the LCP’s initial request for reclassification on March 29, the Department of Health (DOH) maintained the classification of city mayors as Priority A4, or frontline personnel in essential sectors.
On March 31, Leonardia wrote to President Rodrigo Duterte, appealing for the reclassification of LCEs as Priority A1, and on April 5, DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje issued Advisory 26 allowing the vaccination of LCEs in high-risk areas.
Leonardia continued to reach out to Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon, and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., appealing for the inclusion of all city mayors in the A1 category.
Leonardia, who took his first dose of AstraZeneca jab on April 17 after Bacolod was listed as a high-risk area, has recently been visiting vaccination centers and organizing a week-long vaccination operations in this city.
This drives the point on the critical roles of LCEs in getting the trust of their constituencies to get vaccinated, the LCP said.
In the statement, the league said all the city mayors are “delighted with this new development and warmly thanks (the) President and the members of the IATF for their wisdom and foresight with this decision”.
“Such a move recognizes the important roles of LCEs in the success of the country’s vaccination program. We commit to reciprocate the trust and confidence of the IATF to city mayors with more active and responsive vaccination efforts in our respective localities,” the LCP added. (PNA)

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