Recent buzz on personalities receiving vaccines before anyone else like frontliners has caused such heated controversy.
Earlier, actor Mark Anthony Fernandez got vaccinated ahead of health care workers and other priority groups. The public went into a rage.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, there was a “quick substitution list” for the vaccine receivers.
This “substitution list” is composed of people who can receive COVID-19 shots if health workers (who are the top priority in the vaccination drive) fail to show up on their schedule or refuse to get inoculated.
However, the actor was neither part of the priority group nor included in the “quick substitution list” of the government, yet he received the vaccine over healthcare workers and other priority groups.
The government has coined the alleged VIP treatment as a “substitution list.” Personalities and Netizens did not buy it.
Kapuso journalist Atom Araullo questioned the eligibility of the persons mentioned in the “quick substitution list.”
To Araullo, the term used by the government is another word for “VIP back door.”
The eligibility of those in the “quick substitution list” should be clarified and vetted, otherwise it’s just a fancy term for a VIP back door. https://t.co/BZB1ekXMan
— Atom Araullo (@atomaraullo) March 25, 2021
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III has defended the actor. Densing stated that Fernandez could jump the line, but other Filipinos will not be allowed.
Densing’s statement had Netizens react by how a known actor could ‘easily’ jump the line. To justify any action, coming up with a term that people may accept: quick substitution list.
They termed it as “quick substitution list”. https://t.co/YZZrtIl1TX
— alfred caparros (@alfredcaparros) March 25, 2021
Since the start of the pandemic, the Duterte administration got involved in various VIP scandals. Asymptomatic politicians’ list still got tested for Covid-19 has circulated over the Internet.
Despite limited test kits, tests proceeded. Even their families got tested as well.
Earlier this year, Duterte’s Special Envoy to China, Ramon Tulfo, has revealed that he got inoculated by the vaccine as early as October 2020–and this was after the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and some cabinet members received the unregistered Sinopharm vaccine.
The unofficial inoculation of the PSG and others; made Netizens speculate that there is some VIP preference over who gets vaccinated.
This time, Netizens were not shocked by the priorities of the government. Twitter personality Jai Cabajar took a jab at the current vaccine-related issue.
Cabajar sarcastically wrote that he was shocked that VIPs are getting vaccinated before health care workers and other priority groups.
What?! May VIP testing yung mga politiko noon, tapos may VIP vaccination ngayon? Grabe. pic.twitter.com/4hZf7sgi2M
— Jai Cabajar (@jaicabajar) March 25, 2021
With the government justifying the VIP’s vaccination, a Netizen criticized the government for working harder to cover up any issue.
bago na naman quick substitution list– the devil works hard, but this administration works harder nga naman. https://t.co/T4Vb8SQFKO
— Bryan Rodriguez (@bryanrodrig_) March 25, 2021
A Netizen questioned the difference between Fernandez and the million Filipinos affected by the pandemic. He also pointed out that the government’s blatant display of VIP treatment would jeopardize the Philippines’ share of vaccines.
What’s the difference between Mark Anthony Fernandez and the million of Filipinos who suffers from depression and hypertension? What made him special?
This shameless and blatant display of VIP treatment will jeopardize the Philippine’s share in the COVAX facility! Gago ka! https://t.co/FgtmknBCU4
— Jamie Alexandre Alonzo (@JamieAlonzo) March 25, 2021
An enraged Netizen questioned how other frontliners and essential workers got denied for vaccination as opposed to VIPs. He stressed that not all healthcare workers and priority groups received the vaccine. Yet, there were those privileged getting inoculated first.
GAGO?! Na alok na ba lahat ng HCW sa buong Pilipinas? How about the delivery service and food service crew who interact with more people than these fucking privileged politicians who stay in their big secluded houses? https://t.co/TZUcRSYQVM
— Mik Lee (@mikhaill_lee) March 25, 2021
Healthcare workers were truly ignored by the current government. A netizen pointed out that the front liners were overworked. But the government showed no consideration as they let other unimportant people be vaccinated first.
yun healthworkers po over worked. 16-24 hours duty straight. this regime continuously ignore, abuse and demoralize health workers. effing inconsiderate https://t.co/SS2WxzBm6t
— Enrico Malabonga (@EnricoMalabonga) March 25, 2021
Now that the government has justified Fernandez’s vaccination, journalist JC Punongbayan expressed his concern if COVAX will pick up the anomaly.
— JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) March 25, 2021
With the rampant treatment of prominent personalities, even internationally-acclaimed singer Leah Salonga got disappointed in influential people using their power to get tested first.
On Thursday, March 25, strict implementation of the vaccine program will follow, as assured by the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF).
According to the two agencies, healthcare workers are the priority to get the vaccine first.
“Do not worry. Our goal is still to ensure that everybody will be vaccinated. But while we do this, the government is prioritizing healthcare workers as they are the most exposed and the most at risk of getting COVID,” said the NTF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
Meanwhile, President Duterte has ordered DOH to probe Fernandez’s inoculation as he did not mention the actor being part of the “quick substitution list.” Malacañang also warned mayors to refrain from skipping the vaccine line.
To date, the Philippines received a total of 1,525,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. It is 30% of the requirement for the 1.7 million healthcare workers.
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