Local chief executives are now part of the priority group for COVID-19 vaccination in the country, Malacañang said Monday, May 17, 2021.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, "Napagkasunduan ng IATF na ang mga gobernador at mayor ay mapapabilang na din sa priority group A1.5."
According to Department of Health's circular dated March 11, A1.5 covers "government owned primary care based facilities such as Urban Health Centers, Rural Health Units and Barangay Health Stations, birthing homes, and Local Health Offices to include members of BHERTS, contact tracers, social workers."
This means that all governors and city and municipal mayors, regardless of the risk classification of their respective local government units, will be ahead of senior citizens, who belong to the A2 prioritization group, in the vaccination campaign.
Health workers are the top priority in the vaccination program.
The change came after the League of Cities of the Philippines appealed for the reclassification of local chief executives in the vaccination priority list since they head local task forces against COVID-19.
In March, the Department of the Interior and Local Government launched an investigation into local chief executives who jumped the COVID-19 vaccine queue, saying administrative charges could be filed against them.
So far, the Philippines' COVID-19 immunization program has covered health workers, senior citizens, and individuals with comorbidities.
The government eyes to vaccinate at least some 50 million people this year.