Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday urged the National Taskforce Against Covid-19 (NTF) to commit to a vaccination timeline before making any public statements about when the jabs would arrive.
She noted how the NTF had earlier announced that the Covax facility vaccines were to arrive on February 14, but recently reported that they have been delayed to February 26, or two weeks later.
“As long as the cases of Covid-19 are rising, we cannot relax health protocols and we cannot fully open up the economy. Any delay in the vaccination rollout means people will have to face tremendous suffering in the pandemic for even longer,” Hontiveros said.
“Tigilan ng NTF ang kanilang fear of commitment sa vaccination rollout because it is costing us jobs and is making the people hungrier,” she said.
“Para lang silang nagda-darts ng dates sa kalendaryo, bahala na lang kung saan tumama. Magkaroon naman sana sila ng accountability sa mga inaannounce nila. Itong atras-abante ng NTF ay di nakakadagdag sa kumpiyansa ng publiko. The only thing they are achieving at this point is confusing the public,” she said.
Hontiveros said the vaccination program was “clearly not off to a good start.” She added that the major stumbles of the NTF could have been avoided with due diligence.
“I hate to hear that they keep on using the lack of global supply as an excuse when Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, also developing countries, have already begun their vaccination program with Pfizer and Astra Zeneca,” she said.
“Those are the same brands of vaccines we were supposed to have received by now. Ang ibig sabihin lang nito ay nasa atin ang problema. NTF should acknowledge that so that slipups don’t happen again,” she added.