Escalante Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. said Wednesday, March 24, he is ready to answer any show cause order for having been vaccinated against COVID-19 in alleged violation of the priority list, as he did it to convince hesitant health care workers (HCWs) in his city that the Sinovac vaccines are safe.
Yap, who has not received any show cause order yet, said he has not done anything wrong.
It was a call of duty to convince the HCWs to be vaccinated, and he is ready to go to jail or accept any penalty for his actions, Yap said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been directed to investigate mayors who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 despite their not being medical frontliners.
DILG Provincial head Roselyn Quintana said they have sent a report on what happened in Escalante to their regional office.
“The regional office asked for the report, we are still waiting for further instructions,” she said.
Yap, who received a Sinovac jab on March 19, said he did it to convince hesitant HCWs in his city that it is safe and necessary.
Yap said 150 doses of the vaccine were sent to the Vicente Gustilo District Hospital in Escalante City and the hospital administrator, Dr. Vermont Ubaher, informed him that there were only 47 HCWs willing to be vaccinated.
The HCWs were hesitant to be inoculated with the China-made vaccines so he volunteered to be vaccinated to trigger a response, Yap said.
He was on the quick replacement list for vaccination and has had no adverse reaction to the vaccine, Yap added.
Yap said he had read that Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia had announced that the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had approved the inclusion of the mayors on the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination.
“Sad to say I read again yesterday (March 23) that they made a mistake in interpreting,” Yap said.
The IATFC-EID 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 health care workers, followed by senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.*