Speaker Velasco willing to get COVID-19 vaccine publicly to boost confidence

BOAC, Marinduque — Marinduque Representative and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is more than willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in public to convince Filipinos that the vaccine is safe and necessary.

Velasco said elected officials like him should be “at the forefront” of the government’s vaccination campaign to encourage everyone to get inoculated against the disease that has already killed more than 12,300 people nationwide.

“Ang ating mga elected leaders should be at the forefront to be able to show the people na talagang kinakailangan natin ng bakuna, at talaga namang kinakailangan para ma-control natin ang pandemya,” Velasco told reporters in an interview after he led Monday’s physical flag-raising ceremony, the first one conducted by the House since the pandemic started last year.

Velasco made the statement as the country officially kicked off the COVID-19 vaccine rollout using China-made vaccines donated by the Chinese government.

He hailed the arrival of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as “a welcome development.”

“It’s high time na may dumating na bakuna sa ating bansa at sunod-sunod na po ‘yan,” Velasco said. “Sa pangunguna ng ating pangulo na si PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) kasama ang buong ehekutibo, Senado at House, we have been working hard para maibigay natin ang necessary legislation para mai-roll out ‘yung vaccine program.”

President Duterte recently signed into law the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, which Velasco principally authored in the House. The legislation seeks to expedite the purchase and administration of COVID-19 vaccines and set up an indemnity fund to compensate individuals who will experience adverse effects after vaccination.

During the flag-raising ceremony, Velasco said the House will be rolling out its own vaccine program for employees and their families.

Velasco assured employees that the House leadership will do everything to earn their trust and confidence in the vaccine.

“I assure each and everyone of you that while I am at the helm, the House will be a safe, healthy and comfortable home for all,” he added.

After he assumed the speakership in October last year, Velasco made sure that those who were eager to work are tested for the virus to ensure their safety while the legislative mill continues to grind.

Aside from regular testing, the House has been implementing strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all the offices and buildings within the Batasan Complex.

Velasco, meanwhile, thanked House members, the Secretariat and the entire congressional corps “for helping us pass urgent COVID response measures aside from our legislative priorities.”

“Your full cooperation, hard work and support for our leadership give us the impetus to work hard and to work well,” he added. — Marinduquenews.com

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