PN file photo

Provincial legislators have urged local chief executives of 23 municipalities to adopt a strategy to encourage Palaweños to get vaccinated to address the low vaccination rate in the province.

The Provincial Board (PB), during the regular session on Tuesday, approved a resolution of ex-officio board member Ferdinand Zaballa requesting support from the local chief executives, indigenous people’s mandatory representatives (IPMRs), barangay officials, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and private entities to use all means and strategies to increase the vaccination rate in Palawan.

Zaballa noted that only the towns of Cagayancillo, Coron, El Nido, and Linapacan have met the required percentage of 70 percent as of now.

He stated that Palawan remains under Alert Level 2 due to the poor immunization rate of approximately 54 percent of the required amount.

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“Hinaharap natin ngayon is ‘yong very poor and very low vaccination rate. Right now ang vaccination rate is 54.22 percent which is napakababa noon, at the same time, we are still on Alert Level 2, which means hindi tayo makausad,” Zaballa said.

He added that the majority of the residents and barangay are not yet following the restrictions set by the inter-agency task force (IATF) for those under Alert Level 2.

“Technically, ang mga nangyayari sa mga barangay at munisipyo ay bawal pa rin because according sa restriction ng Alert Level 2 ang mga simbahan ay only 50 percent but some are in 75 percent. Marami pang hindi sumusunod doon sa alituntunin na binababa ng IATF,” he said.

As president of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Palawan, Zaballa said that he is encouraging the barangay officials to exert extra effort to encourage those who hesitate to get vaccines.

“Ang mga barangay dapat gumawa ng paraan para mapataas ang vaccination rate. Dito po sa Pilipinas ay isa ang Palawan sa pinakamababa ang vaccination rate,” Zaballa said.

“‘Yong mga katutubo po ay hesitant pa rin kaya hinihingi natin ang tulong ng mga IPMR para ma encourage sila na magpabakuna na,” he added.

Board Member Ryan Maminta also called on the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to attend the next regular session to discuss concrete measures to intensify the vaccination program.

“I [now] appreciate the necessity of this resolution because on the date only the municipalities of Linapacan, Coron, El Nido and Cagayancillo reach the 70 percent requirement pero the rest of the municipalities ay below 70 percent. I think it is the high time to request PHO sa susunod na session para i-lay down sa atin kung ano ang mga specific programs,” Maminta said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.