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73-year old vaccinated during the Labor Day ceremonial vaccination

Cebu City, Philippines. “Yes I have my medication maintenance and all but I am ready to be vaccinated.” This was what 73-year old Bonifacio Conde said minutes before he got his first dose of the Sinovac vaccine during the symbolic vaccination roll-out held during the Labor Day Celebration on May 1 in the city of Naga, Cebu.

Settled at the waiting area together with the rest of the workers up for vaccination, Conde bravely assessed how he felt that day and quipped that he was more than ready. “I’m very happy to benefit this program. We are also front liners and this vaccination program provides us the protection that we badly needed. This is a government effort worth our appreciation,” he said.

Conde is one of the workers identified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) in the Region to be part of the symbolic vaccination. Representing the Industry Tripartite Council in Maritime (ITC-Maritime), he said he also weighed things down considering the many things he heard about the bad side effects of the vaccine.

“More than the fear that prevented some to be vaccinated, I personally take this as an opportunity. This means that the government treated us as top priority and for that, I am thankful,” added the native of Daanbantayan, Cebu.

Apart from Conde, also getting their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine during the roll-out were Pedro Martinez and Eleanor Rosales both from ITC-Construction; Naomi Forrosuelo from ITC-Education and Jack Forrosuelo, an OFW.

Assistant Regional Director, Atty. Jude Thomas A. Trayvilla, who represented DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton to the event, lauded the workers especially the organizations that put their acts together in order to make the roll-out possible in the Region.

“When we got to the venue, we immediately caught the energy and enthusiasm of the place. We saw everyone exhibiting courage and strength. With this demonstration of perseverance and hope, I believe, we can altogether fight back and rise above this suffering that is being brought about by the pandemic,” said ARD Trayvilla before the workers, doctors, nurses, and the officials and staff of the DOLE, DOH, and the LGU of the City Naga present at the Enan Chiong Activity Center (ECAC).

Also around were DOH Regional Director, Dr, Jaime S. Bernadas and City of Naga Mayor, Hon. Kristine Vanessa T. Chiong.

Waiting for his turn until the program was over, Conde stayed on. Calm and collected, he was the first among the rest to be inoculated on that day.

A seaman by profession and now designated as a person ashore, he said it is only but proper for him to get the protection he needed if he wants to be always there for his job and the people who believe in him and depend on him.

“I am very happy to get this vaccine. We don’t know what will happen next. We cannot see the virus. Coupled with extra caution plus this vaccine, that is enough to give me peace of mind,” he added.

Regional Director Siaton, for her part, expressed her thanks for the collaboration made by the DOLE, DOH, and the City of Naga as the LGU whose vaccination post is up and ready for the symbolic vaccination roll-out.

“We commend our partners for the success of the roll-out. What took place last May 1 was a product of the organized efforts of the offices involved. It was an immediate response to the request of the Covid-19 Cluster of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for all Regional Vaccination Operations Centers to identify a site where the DOLE could send selected Priority A4 workers for the symbolic Vaccination,” she said.

She added that the symbolic vaccination last May 1 was a good start for the rest of the workers in Central Visayas to get their best defense against the virus through vaccination.

“Secretary Bello in the latest advisory that he issued highly encouraged all establishments and employees in the private sector to get vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine. Employers are enjoined to continue urging their employees to avail of their own vaccination program, if any, or their respective local government units,” added the Regional Head.

Issued on May 1, 2021, Labor Advisory No. 08, 2021 also encourages employers to seek appropriate assistance from concerned government agencies in the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

 

End//LSenarlo-Taniza

 

For more information on this report, you may contact (032) 234-3317 or tricitydole7@yahoo.com.ph; (032) 266-7424 or cpfodolero7@gmail.com; (035) 226-2778 / (035) 422-9741/ dolenegrosoriental@gmail.com; (035) 480-9244 or dolesiquijor@gmail.com; (038) 501-0277 and (038) 411-0806 or doleboholfo@gmail.com.

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2021-05-04
SALOME O. SIATON
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