Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is calling on the government to also include teachers in the list of people prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.
As Chairperson of the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture, Gatchalian pointed out that the country’s 900,000 teachers have been frontliners, too, in this COVID-19 crisis for several months.
Though they are not medical frontliners or uniformed personnel, the teachers have been reporting for duty to ensure that the needs of the students are met. They prepare the learning modules and distribute these at the schools they are assigned in; thus, Gatchalian believes that they should also be prioritized in the upcoming vaccine program.
“Dahil ang ating mga guro, mga punong-guro, at kawani ng mga paaralan ay nagsisilbing mga frontliners sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon, nararapat lamang na mabilang sila sa mga unang makatatanggap ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19,” said Gatchalian.
Vaccine Priority List
Earlier, Philippines vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that health workers will be the #1 on the priority list. Such includes frontline health workers in public and private health facilities,regional health offices, temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, contract tracers, field workers, and barangay health stations as well as emergency response teams.
Also included in the top tier are frontline workers in other government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other relevant agencies.
The top priority group comprises about 1.6% or some 1.76 million of the total population. This is followed by indigent senior citizens (2nd priority), remaining senior citizens (3rd priority), remaining indigent population (4th priority), and other uniformed personnel (5th priority).
But Gatchalian wants teachers to be considered as frontliners, too. Thus, he wishes for teachers to be included in this list.
Considering that the dry run for face-to-face classes will begin in January at areas with low risk of COVID-19 transmission, Gatchalian’s proposal will certainly put a lot of parents’ minds at ease.