A finance executive is calling on authorities to investigate the alleged presence of a “runner” charging a fee to facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City.
Joey Ledesma said Tuesday, July 6, that a friend of his went to the SMX Convention Center to have herself and her sister vaccinated.
“They were walk-ins. They were approached by a ‘runner’ asking for P1,500 each, promising that he could get them vaccinated. My friend in desperation paid and they were vaccinated,” Ledesma said in a Facebook post.
Ledesma, who withheld the names of the two, said they do not want to file any complaints so it is difficult to prove.
He is asking authorities to look into these practices and punish those who are guilty.
Ledesma said he is recommending that a poster be placed at vaccination centers that warns fixers and another informing everyone that the vaccines are free.
Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang, who is also Emergency Operations Center executive director, said she requested Ledesma to expose the name of the alleged “runner” or at least give them the name of his friend who supposedly paid to get vaccinated so that they can investigate the matter at once.
“This is a very serious accusation. We will not tolerate this. We need to get to the bottom of this issue and make sure that any guilty party must be punished accordingly,” she said.
“If the accuser/informant cannot come out and state facts, it will affect everyone in our vaccination team who honestly and earnestly do their jobs every single day. If these allegations turn out to be untrue, they can be taken as truth by some readers, putting the whole team in a bad light,” she said.
She said Ledesma’s Facebook post is already stirring up nasty, malicious comments against the vaccination team and the city officials.
Ang said she hopes Ledesma will bring the alleged wrongdoing out in the open and “we will just stick with the facts and that will bring us to the truth. Otherwise, this will all just come down to mere kotso-kotso (gossip).*