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NCR MAYORS ADOPT ‘VAX AS ONE’ – ABALOS

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) have agreed to adopt the “Vax as One” Concept to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Metro Manila aimed towards population protection.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent MMC Chairman Benhur Abalos said the priority areas would be Metro Manila and then the four nearby provinces such as Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna.

“Ever since the start of the vaccination program, all local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila have been vaccinating medical frontliners up to all economic workers (non-residents) of their respective jurisdictions,” Abalos said.

“All would be by schedule, strictly no walk-ins allowed.”

“Considering that each LGUs have established effective vaccination sites and highly trained manpower further considering that some LGUs have almost hit their targets, they have decided to accept more non-residents in their vaccination operations. All would be by schedule, strictly no walk-ins allowed,” the traffic chief explained.

According to the traffic head, LGUs to vaccinate non-residents are those who have almost already reached their targets in their areas.

For the meantime, LGUs to focus more on vaccinating non-residents are Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan, and Pateros.

Other LGUs would soon follow as they are already nearing their targets, too.

In Mandaluyong, for instance, a total of 4,715 or 89% non-residents were inoculated as of Aug. 26, 3,896 or 83% were from NCR and the remaining 819 or 17% were from outside NCR.

“Persons who will be vaccinated outside their LGUs must present a valid government-issued identification card.”

“Persons who will be vaccinated outside their LGUs must present a valid government-issued identification card during their schedule,” he said.

At the meeting of the MMC Friday night, Abalos said the MMC have approved to be implemented in Metro Manila the new concept of the Technical Working Group of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as far as defining flexibility of capacities in cases under quarantine status in modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

As presented by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, the new concept of quarantine status implementation will define flexibility of capacities in cases under MECQ and GCQ areas.

Under this concept, maximum capacities of closed areas, crowded areas, and closed contacts are clearly established.

Local government units, likewise, can determine for themselves the level of alertness of their area, from scale of 1 to 4, considering three factors — case transmission, health care utilization rate, and presence of COVID-19 variants.

Further, Abalos added the concept of cost sharing between the national government and LGUs of food packs for isolation/quarantine and granular lockdown areas was also discussed during the meeting.

The DILG manifested its approval and support for this concept, and would present the scheme the soonest.

Likewise, he expressed confidence that the national government would hit the 50% target of giving double dose shots of COVID vaccines by the end of August or early September.

“The Metro Manila mayors, together with the National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, are united in trying to hit the target of 50% by the end of the month or early September,” Abalos said.

The MMC, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.

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