Duterte asks LGUs to give free food per COVID jab
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night urged local government units (LGUs) to guide people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and even feed them if they have to.
“I also appeal to all governors and mayors, dalhin ninyo ang mga constituents ninyo sa mga (bring your constituents to) vaccination sites, sa mga hospitals, malls, at maging sa mga Jollibee at McDonald’s branches para mabakunahan na sila (Bring them to hospitals, malls and even in Jollibee and McDonalds’ branches so they can get vaccinated),” he said in a prerecorded Talk to the People.
Fast-food giants Jollibee Foods Corporation and McDonald’s Philippines earlier offered their restaurants as Covid-19 vaccination sites to assist the government in ramping up inoculation.
Duterte said local officials should also ensure that those who get vaccinated in fast-food chains are treated to free meals. He also offered to reimburse the money to be spent for food.
“Yun namang pupunta sa Jollibee para magpabakuna saka sa McDonald’s matapos gutumin, walang pera tapos maamoy niya yung karne diyan. I suggest, I am authorizing all governors and mayors, gumastos nalang kayo ng pera. Papalitan ko lang ‘yan balang araw, pakainin nalang ninyo sila (Those going to Jollibee and McDonald’s to get vaccinated might get hungry and would smell the food there. I am authorizing all governors and mayors to spend money. I’ll reimburse it, just let them eat. Really, just give me the bill and I will try to pay it if I have the money,” he added.
He said local officials should not have trouble enticing their constituents to get their Covid-19 jabs since they were used to luring crowds during election season.
“Sanay ang mga governors and mayors maghakot ng tao so dapat kayang-kaya din nila ito (Governors and mayors are used to mobilizing crowds so they should find it easy),” he said.
He also thanked the private sector, including malls, fast food chains and private hospitals for participating in the government’s three-day “Bayanihan Bakunahan” program or simultaneous vaccination drive from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
The “Bayanihan Bakunahan” program seeks to vaccinate 15 million Filipinos across 16 regions outside Metro Manila.
Currently, more than 33.5 million Filipinos have completed their Covid-19 jabs.
‘Public health threat’
Meanwhile, Duterte backed restaurants, resorts, and other establishments that require customers’ proof of Covid-19 vaccination.
“I support ‘tong mga (these) restaurants and all na delikado sa (that are at risk of) contamination, in public. You have my support. Huwag mo sila pakainin(Refuse customers),” he said. “Kailangan talaga lahat mabakunahan. Ang mga ayaw (Everyone should get vaccinated. Those who refuse), they should not be allowed inside public restaurants or resorts because they are a threat to public health and the safety of the general public.”
He also expressed support for employees requiring their workers who must report in person to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Kung ikaw gusto ng trabaho tapos ayaw mong magpabakuna, hindi obligado ang employer na tanggapin ka (If you want a job but refuse to get vaccinated, the employer is not obligated to take you in),” he added.
Duterte clarified that he is not discriminating against anyone for their religious beliefs, but has to prevent undue hardship on the employer and other employees from contracting the respiratory disease.
“Kung ako yung employer at hawain mo yung mga empleyado ko hanggang tuloy ang negosyo ko mahina kasi puro may sakit yung trabahante, idadamay mo ako. So ang rason diyan is hindi ako nagdi-discriminate, namimili. Kung hindi, pinoprotektahan yung negosyo ko (If I were the employer and you would contaminate the employees until my business goes bankrupt because they’re all sick, you’ll affect me. So the reason there is not to discriminate. It’s to protect my business),” he said.
He reminded those unvaccinated that death is a direct consequence of Covid-19 infection.
“Ang dead end niyan is kamatayan. Dapat maintindihan ito ng mga kababayan natin, kailangan lahat ay magpabakuna (The dead end is death. Our citizens should understand that we all need to get vaccinated),” he added.
The Department of Health on Tuesday logged 195 new deaths, increasing the country’s toll to 47,482. (PNA)
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