OZAMIZ CITY – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar assured that the government maintains its policy of being brand-neutral and there will be no room for corruption in it’s step to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, during a pocket engagement leading to the Pagdu-aw sa Ozamiz: Explain, Explain, Explain on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
In an interview on Asenso Ozamiz News Channel, he said that the government will only distribute safe and effective vaccines which underwent rigorous processes by the vaccine panel of experts and were granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“It is the policy of the government to be brand-neutral. We are not favoring a specific brand of the vaccine nor a pharmaceutical company. The President himself already guaranteed that he will not allow any form of corruption in our vaccination program,” he said.
Secretary Andanar discussed that while some remain hesitant about the program because of the Dengvaxia controversy, the people need to have a constant reminder that the government is taking careful steps for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The vaccines that we are negotiating to purchase are safe. But we cannot blame the Filipino people for their hesitancy on this because of what we had experienced with the Dengvaxia,” he said.
“But it is already done. We have to move forward and we have to show to the public that the government has a plan,” he added.
He cited the nationwide information drive of the communications arm of the government as part of the goal to increase willingness of the greater population to get vaccinated.
“The function of the PCOO and its attached agencies is to implement the communications strategies assigned to us by the National Task Force against COVID-19 Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez,” he said.
“We will go around the Philippines to explain, explain, explain to the public the reasons why it is important to get vaccinated and, at the same time, dismiss and correct fake news about the vaccine,” he added.
PCOO, PIA to distribute vaccine toolkit to LGUs
Meanwhile, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) as the lead agency for the task group on demand generation, public uptake and communications of the Vaccine Cluster is producing a vaccine toolkit.
This toolkit is a manual that contains materials explaining the National Vaccine Roadmap, its respective communication plan, directives from the President and national government implementers, videos, and template IEC materials.
It will be distributed to the local government units, community leaders, and other civil society and religious organizations by March 2021.
Secretary Andanar said that of the 2 million copies to be distributed, a copy will be provided to each of the 42,046 barangays nationwide and a separate one for the barangay level Sangguniang Kabataan. ###