The vaccination of economic frontliners or A4 workers in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone kicked off today, July 27, 2021, at the NIDEC Satellite Vaccination Site in Zambales.
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, who conducted his press briefing after the ceremonial vaccination underscored the importance of vaccinating the workers of Subic Bay Freeport Zone because of the nature of the industries or businesses that operate in the area and its contribution to the Philippine economy.
“Ang mga industriyang ito hindi nagsasara dahil sila po ay export oriented at maski po mayroon tayong ECQ patuloy ang pagtatrabaho ng ating mga manggawa dito. Ang kanilang mga mina-manufacture dito ay ine-export natin at dahilan para kumita ng foreign exchange ang ating bansa na ginagamit naman natin pambili ng mga napakadami nating inaangkat, kasama na po ang gasoline at mga gamot,” stressed Secretary Roque.
Subic Bay Freeport Zone’s economic frontliners numbering to some 138,965 as of June 2021 are the backbones of the 1,744 companies operating in the freeport zone with a cumulative investment of over USD10.53 billion.
“Ang atin pong pagbibigay ng bakuna ngayon dito sa Subic Freeport Zone, ito po ay pagkilala sa kabayanihan ng ating mga manggawa sa export-oriented industries gaya po ng Nidec dito po sa Subic Bay Freeport Zone,” said Secretary Roque.
Nidec Subic Philippines President Kiyoshi Sato thanked the national government for choosing Nidec as a satellite vaccination site and for selecting its employees as the first recipients of COVID-19 vaccines under the A4 category in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Sato emphasized the importance of valuing the health and well-being of employees to the growth of the business, as the company plans to increase its current 458 employees to 800 this year.
The vaccination of A4 workers in Subic Bay Freeport Zone was done through the initiatives of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), with assistance from the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and the Department of Health (DOH).
SBMA Chairperson and Administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma thanked the national government for the A4 vaccination program saying that it is a relief for the economic frontliners to be given protection against COVID-19 to give them confidence to go to work. Eisma also mentioned that the vaccination of A4 workers will likewise give businesses the confidence to continue with their economic activities.
On the part of the Health Department, Undersecretary Roger Tong-an said that that the DOH remains committed to address the pandemic through the continued and intensified implementation of the prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate or PDITR strategy and the minimum public health standards, and the rollout of the national vaccination program.
During the ceremonial vaccination, Usec Tong-an said that the DOH continues to encourage the public on the importance of vaccination as protection against COVID-19, stressing further that the agency adopted a prioritization framework for COVID-19 vaccination based on recommendations from experts to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.
Meanwhile, Zambales Vice Governor Jay Khonghun said that COVID-19 cases in Zambales are low, one of the lowest in Region 3, which he attributed to the cooperation and effective implementation of protocols by local government units and the national government.
DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development OIC Director Corazon Flores corroborated the statement of Vice Governor Khonghun, saying that while some clustering of cases were seen in some barangays in Zambales, these were immediately responded to by the municipal, city, and provincial surveillance teams.
In the same press briefing, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vivencio Dizon announced that as of yesterday, July 26, 2021, 17.515 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, with 6.3 million individuals already fully vaccinated. Secretary Dizon added that the current highest daily jab rate for the Philippines was recorded last week at 472,000, which is already near the 500,000 daily jab target. ### OPS-PCOO