Press Release
February 19, 2021


Saving lives and moderating economic damage require a balancing act amid the ongoing pandemic, Sen. Grace Poe said.

"A strong vaccination program should accompany the reopening of businesses," Poe stressed.

Pending the arrival of the vaccine, the senator stressed that concerned government agencies should be laying the groundwork for a smooth implementation of the inoculation program. This includes ensuring the preparedness of hospitals and other designated vaccination sites, training of personnel and vetting of master list of sectors and individuals who will be prioritized to get the doses.

Poe also earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1994 or the Vaccine Passport Act that seeks to issue free vaccine passports to individuals who have gotten the shots, including students, local workers and overseas Filipino workers.

The document that will serve as the individual's proof of vaccination will help expedite the return to work of workers, including OFWs sidelined by the pandemic.

"The vaccine certificate will give our workers the advantage to get hired as they already have the proof of protection from the virus. Getting more Filipinos employed will boost our comeback from the economic downturn," Poe said.

Under her bill, the vaccine record will contain types and purposes of vaccines administered to the holder, the batch numbers the vaccines belong to, dates administered, and the persons and institutions that administered the inoculation.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) earlier approved the recommendation of Metro Manila mayors to place the capital region into the loosest modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) from the current general community quarantine.

The decision followed the pitch of the National Economic Development Authority that easing the quarantine will help bring about more economic activities and spur growth.

The President will give the final approval to the IATF recommendation.

If such planned shift to MGCQ is deemed proper, it should be complemented by allowing more public vehicles to ply the road and increasing passenger capacity to accommodate the expected influx of commuters.

"With strict adherence to health protocols, the readiness of the transportation system is important to shield the people from the hardships of commuting when they go out of their homes," she said.

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