The vaccination against COVID-19 of Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the 61 barangay captains of Bacolod City at the Bacolod City Government Center on Wednesday, March 24, has been postponed, Dr. Edwin Miraflor Jr., OIC City Health Officer, said Tuesday, March 23.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases reclassified local chief executives as “essential workers” under Category A4 who are fourth in line to receive the coronavirus vaccines.
First in line in the priority list are some 1.7 million healthcare workers, followed by senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
Miraflor said when the mayor informed him that his request for the inclusion of local chief executives in the vaccination priority was approved by the national Inter-Agency Task Force and that the Department of the Interior and Local Government had classified them under category A4, he misunderstood the classification under A.4 to that of A.1.4.
He said with the best of intentions in mind, and in the hopes of encouraging Bacolodnons to take an active part in the vaccination program of the city, the Emergency Operations Center and Vaccination Operations Center promptly scheduled a ceremonial vaccination of the mayor and the barangay captains on March 24.
“However, after further clarification has been made and upon review of circumstances, we regret that we need to postpone the intended activity,” Miraflor said.
He pointed out that on March 5, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and members of the city council also volunteered to be vaccinated.
However, they were informed that amid limited vaccine supply, there is a need to strictly abide by the prioritization schedule, Miraflor said.
“Now, Mayor Bing and the barangay captains are again denied the same opportunity to inspire Bacolodnons to avail of the COVID-19 vaccines. Our city and barangay officials are ready to set an example for our fellow Bacolodnons,” he said.
The postponement came as Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Tuesday said the Palace would refer the case of two mayors who were vaccinated this week to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for investigation.
Vaccinated were Mayor Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City, Leyte, and Mayor Elanito Peña of Minglanilla, Cebu.
Mayor Melecio Yap of Escalante City, Negros Occidental, received a Sinovac vaccine, Friday last week.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Tuesday that he will be vaccinated when it is his turn.*