Local chief executives are now part of the priority group for COVID-19 vaccination in the country, Malacañang said Monday as more jabs are expected to be available in the Philippines.
All governors and city and municipal mayors, regardless of the risk classification of their respective local government units, are now included in the first priority group for COVID-19 vaccinations, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
"Napagkasunduan ng IATF na ang mga gobernador at mayor ay mapapabilang na din sa priority group A1.5," Roque told reporters.
This means that local chief executives will be ahead of senior citizens, who belong to the A2 prioritization group, in the vaccination campaign. Health workers are first 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.