DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 01 Nov) – The City Government of Davao targets to vaccinate all barangay officials by November 15, according to Councilor Edgar Ibuyan Sr, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay-Davao City chapter.
In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday, Ibuyan urged all barangay personnel to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as the November 30 target for this city to reach herd immunity nears.
The local government targets to vaccinate 1.2 million people, comprising 70% of the city’s total population, by the end of this month.
He admitted that there are barangay personnel who remain apprehensive about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine even months after the government’s immunization program began last March 5.
But he added that no less than Mayor Sara Duterte issued a directive that barangay officials should take the lead in the vaccination efforts by getting themselves vaccinated first in order to boost the confidence of their constituents.
“All officials must be fully vaccinated,” Ibuyan added.
With less than a month for the target herd immunity deadline, Ibuyan said the local government is bringing the vaccination drive to the grassroots so that people will no longer go to the vaccination sites.
As of October 28, the city government reported a total of 882,818 individuals who received the first dose and 788,001 who are fully vaccinated, or 66% of its target of 1,200,000 to attain herd immunity.
The city has 23 operational vaccination sites, according to the local government.
Based on Executive Order 45, which was signed by Duterte last September 15, all city hall employees, including plantilla, job order, contract of service and volunteers, to get fully vaccinated on or before November 30.
The order provides that the city government recognized the “right to health of a government personnel includes the right to refuse vaccination,” but maintained that “this right should bow to the superior right to health of the majority consisting of other city government personnel and the public at large.”
Section 2 states that the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) must “ensure and coordinate with the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force Vaccination Cluster in organizing and scheduling the vaccination of all city government personnel.” It also requires administrative officers of various offices to submit to the Personnel Benefits and Welfare Division of HRMO the list of personnel to be included in the vaccination schedule.
Sanctions will be imposed on employees who refuse to get vaccinated, according to the order. For plantilla personnel, they will be held administratively liable for insubordination and will be penalized by suspension of one month and one day to six months for the first offense and dismissal from the service for the second offense, pursuant to Section 50 (2) of the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in Civil Service.
The order, however, is silent as to the sanctions on job order, contract of service workers and volunteers who refuse vaccination. It merely provides that the “City Government of Davao shall prioritize the hiring of job order, contract of service and volunteers who are fully vaccinated.”
But Duterte, in her program over DCDR 87.5 on September 6, said their refusal will be the basis for the non-renewal of their contracts. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)