QUEZON City Rep. Alfred Vargas has called on various departments and agencies to ensure the smooth roll out of the mass vaccination for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as he underscored that the country’s economic recovery hinges on the program’s successful implementation.
“The mass vaccination for COVID-19 is a crucial undertaking that should leave no room for indecision and inefficiency. It should be guided by urgency, focus, and a sense of mission, a realization that the first jab administered to the first front liner signals our tentative yet hopeful first step towards economic recovery,” Vargas said.
Vargas, chair of the House social services committee, said his committee is ready to assist government agencies in meeting their target of vaccinating over 60 million Filipinos.
“It is important that we work as one to assure our people that government as a whole – from the major departments and agencies of government down to the local government units – are ready and able to implement this important task,” he added.
“Dapat maging maagap at masinop ang ating mga ahensya ng gobyerno dahil ang pinag-uusapan natin dito ay buhay ng tao at buhay ng ating ekonomiya. Ang nakasalalay dito ay ang kaligtasan ng ating mga mamamayan at kinabukasan ng ating bansa,” he added.
Vargas, however, said it is equally important to begin long-term programs and interventions designed to lift people from poverty.
“The problem of poverty, and the objective of reducing poverty, will remain a challenge to be met well after this pandemic has ended,” Vargas said.
He called for “a sustained, coordinated and long-term plan” that would extend social programs, improve living conditions, and provide employment to the poor.
This plan is intended to advance President Duterte’s “noble objective of substantially reducing poverty by 2022.”
The World Bank had estimated that 2.7 million Filipinos will slide into poverty due to the pandemic.
Vargas added that government assistance programs should be responsive to the needs of the poor, adequately funded, and disbursed to intended beneficiaries on time.
Vargas also vowed that the Committee on Social Services under his leadership would be inclusive and consultative, which he said is important in making correct assessments on the poverty situation and crafting relevant legislation.
“We will consult all sectors with a stake in social development, in caring for the people’s welfare, and in alleviating the conditions of the poor and the underprivileged,” he said.
He also thanked the bicameral conference committee for increasing the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s allocation in the 2021 proposed national budget by P3.669 billion, which brings up the agency’s budget to P176.66 billion.Publication Source : People's Journal