President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. favors extending the state of public health emergency in the country until the end of 2022.
“Maraming mga binibigay sa international medical community kapag state of emergency. [World Health Organization] is one of them. At kung itigil natin ‘yong state of emergency, matitigil ‘yon,” Marcos said this Wednesday during the Department of Health (DOH) vaccination campaign in Manila.
“But if we can change — we are looking at amending the law in terms of procurement and all of that in the middle of an emergency. But that will take time. So malamang we will extend it until the end of the year,” he added.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte placed the country under a state of public health emergency in March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
This public health emergency declaration remains in effect until revoked by the president.
The state of calamity declaration due to COVID-9 is set to expire in the entire country this coming September.
On the same occasion, Marcos accepted his second booster shot to encourage more Filipinos to get booster shots against the disease.
Marcos favors state of public health emergency until end of 2022
DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire gave the Pfizer vaccine to the president four months after his first booster.
Also with Marcos was his son, Ilocos Norte Rep Sandro Marcos, who was vaccinated by Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, a doctor.
This is part of the PinasLakas vaccination campaign of the DOH, where the government targets to increase 50 percent of the eligible population to receive their first booster shot within the first 100 days of the new administration.
Molecular biologist Fr Nic Austriaco fears that the target may not be reached because many Filipinos seem to have ‘moved on.’
“They moved on from vaccinations already,” said Austriaco, a fellow of the OCTA Research Group.
Austriaco once again reminded the public to take advantage of the government’s free vaccine opportunity.
Marcos also said that new generation vaccines targeting new variants of COVID-19 are being studied in his speech.