CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has decided to get the Covid-19 vaccine, but there is no date for her inoculation yet.
The governor announced her decision during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.
Garcia said she supports the idea to give incentives to people who are fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease caused by Sars-CoV-2.
As to the unvaccinated people, Garcia said she would still respect them.
“When I get vaccinated, I will still speak up for the unvaccinated... We should not punish them,” she said.
The governor’s stance is a departure from that of other leaders who proposed measures to push unvaccinated people to get the Covid-19 vaccine jabs. Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on national TV that he wants the Philippine National Police and barangay captains to restrict the movement of people who refuse vaccines. In Cebu, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan issued an executive order (EO) with a provision that prohibits unvaccinated individuals from entering public and private markets, department stores, supermarkets and grocery stores starting on Aug. 25.
Garcia said an individual has the right to decide what to do with his body.
“It’s everyone’s constitutional right to decide for his or her own body. It’s a choice. And I would defend that choice,” she said.
As to Chan, the first-time mayor has issued a new EO revoking the old EO that contains the controversial provision.
The new EO sets up the guidelines for the residents, workers and businesses during the city’s modified enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15.
Chan’s old EO caught the attention of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who said the provision was untimely as there were still many people who have yet to get vaccinated. The mayor also drew flak from social media users.
Chan said his intention was to get more residents to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
On Monday, Aug. 2, Chan received good news when more than 8,000 individuals were inoculated in six vaccination sites in Lapu-Lapu City.
As of Monday, 93,188 individuals had been vaccinated—63,628 for the first dose; 29,560, second dose.
The mayor is encouraging his constituents to avail themselves of the vaccines as the coronavirus’ highly contagious Delta variant has slipped into the city and other parts of Cebu. (ANV, GCM / KAL)