RILHUB Conducts First RKES of 2021; DOH and LGUs Quezon City and Pasig City Present COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
by Rya Ducusin and Leigh Fuentes
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of lives in various ways. Globally, there are more than 90 million confirmed cases and 2 million deaths. Among these are half a million Filipinos that are confirmed cases and nearly ten thousand deaths. Apart from the health crisis it brought, COVID-19 has also disrupted livelihoods, social services, government programs, among others.
Almost a year after the COVID-19 lockdowns began in the Philippines, scientists and experts from different parts of the world have come up with a vaccine to slow down the spread of the virus – shedding light on possibilities of returning to normal. The Philippine government developed the National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for an efficient and effective vaccine deployment and delivery to the Filipino people.
While the National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is more of an overview of the steps of the national government, there is an urgent need to localize these plans and be adapted at the LGU level.
A new strain has also been recently discovered and severe side effects from the vaccine have been reported globally, causing panic and fear among communities. The government is also taking extra steps to address these doubts through various information dissemination activities and education campaigns.
Having said this, last March 4, the Resilience and Innovation Learning Hub (RILHUB) conducted the first Resilience Knowledge Exchanges Series (RKES) of this year. Launched June last year, RKES is a monthly or bi-monthly webinar series that invites key actors and various community members to learn, reflect, and share best practices in relation to timely and resilience-related events and programs.
During this implementation, RILHUB was joined by selected guest speakers to share their expertise, experiences, and for the representatives from local government units, their best practices in relation to planning their COVID-19 Vaccination plan.
Ms. Ma. Arlene Arbas, Division Chief of the Department of Health’s (DOH) Media and External Relations Division, presented the agency’s National Vaccination Plan as well as the timeline or estimated rollout of vaccines. Through her presentation, some foreseen and commonly asked questions were directly addressed even before the open forum portion of the program.
Local Government Units (LGUs) with approved local COVID-19 Vaccination Plans were also invited to share their experiences and best practices in planning and approval. For the local government of Pasig City, Mr. Joseph Emilie Juico, Co-Chair of the Quezon City Task Force Vax to Normal, presented the city’s plans while Dr. Angelo Saquitan, Rural Health Physician presented the plans of the City of Pasig.
After all presentations, the floor was opened for questions during the open forum portion of the program. This provided a good opportunity for all attendees and stakeholders, which were comprised of both private, public, and civil service organizations, to raise any concerns, clarifications, and inquiries. A majority of questions were answered live, while a select few were answered through Zoom’s Q&A feature.
Check out the recorded Facebook live stream of the session here.
View the Department of Health’s presentation here.
View the City of Pasig’s presentation here.