Makati Mayor Abby Binay has announced that the city’s free COVID-19 vaccination program will include employees of all registered businesses in the city even if they are not Makati residents.
The mayor said the city’s P1-billion budget for the purchase of the vaccines and its share of vaccines procured by the national government will be enough to cover all Makati-based businesses, from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to large companies.
“We are confident we will have enough to cover our essential workers who keep businesses running,” Mayor Abby said.
“We will use the number of employees declared by the businesses in their business permit applications as basis for the number of employees who will be vaccinated for free. This is our way of helping our economic frontliners,” she said.
To qualify, companies must have a 2021 business permit and are up-to-date with their tax payments, including those paying in installments. Companies that have purchased vaccines for their employees will no longer be included.
The mayor said expanding the scope of the city’s vaccination program to the business sector will help boost its efforts to sustain the city’s economy through 100 percent COVID vaccination.
The mayor noted that during daytime, the city’s population balloons to nearly five million as millions of non-residents troop to its companies and establishments daily. Makati has a resident population of over 500,000.
Mayor Abby also sought to allay fears among residents and workers who may be apprehensive about its possible adverse side effects.
She said the city will cover medical expenses and hospital bills of those who experience any adverse effects linked to the vaccine.
“Anybody who experiences adverse effects will receive free hospitalization. For non-residents it will be covered by Philhealth and the ‘Malasakit Financial Assistance’ from the Department of Health. In Makati, our #ProudMakatizens will get free medical and health assistance through our Yellow Card program,” Mayor Abby said.
“Getting vaccinated is our best hope of fighting the coronavirus. It is a chance to regain mobility and jumpstart the economy. We do not have to live in fear of infecting our families and loved ones each time we come home from work,” she said.
Speaking at the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team’s recent visit to the city, Mayor Abby announced that the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in February and will immediately be administered to the city’s frontliners.
The rest of the vaccines will arrive by the third quarter of the year, and the city will also wait for its allocation from the national government, she said.
Mayor Abby presented Makati’s comprehensive plan of action to the CODE Team. Besides logistics and manpower, the mayor underscored the need to build vaccination confidence and educate Makatizens why they should have themselves vaccinated.
“Makati is 100 percent ready. Our logistics and pre-vaccination and post-vaccination monitoring systems are in place. We are just waiting for the vaccines to arrive. The challenge for now is convincing people to get vaccinated. We have to improve our information dissemination drives and make people understand that the vaccines are good, they are safe, and they will be well taken care of — no matter what,” Mayor Abby said.
The city government of Makati has allotted P1 billion for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines. Last January 10, the city secured one million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when Mayor Abby signed a tripartite agreement with the British-Swedish biopharmaceutical company and the national government, represented by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in a virtual signing ceremony.