This was the mayor’s response when asked if the Davao City Government will also be imposing restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated persons, especially in going to the establishments.
“I am pro-vaccination gyud, and boosters [booster shots]. Pero in this case, dili gyud ko maka-agree (I am pro-vaccination, and boosters. But in this case, I won’t agree) with the exclusion or restriction of unvaccinated. Tungod kay (Because) they were given the freedom to choose,” Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
The mayor explained that the City Government, since the start of the Covid-19 vaccination in March 2021, did not make it mandatory to the public.
She explained that unless there will be a national law or guidelines restricting them, the city is not keen on implementing rules against unvaccinated persons.
“Therefore, people were given a choice: kung magpabakuna sila or dili. Karon, katong nagpili nga dili sila magpabakuna (if they wanted to be vaccinated or not. Now, those who refused), they should not be discriminated [against] kay gitagaan man sila’g (because they were given a) choice,” the mayor said.
“Why will we make it difficult for people nga nipili nga dili sila magpabakuna nga wala man gisulti nga mandatory ang bakuna (that refused to be vaccinated since there was no policy that states that vaccination is mandatory),” the mayor added.
Duterte-Carpio said the city can only convince the unvaccinated to get a vaccine through information dissemination.
But she said she will be leaving the decision of implementing restrictions to the unvaccinated to business owners/establishments and heads of government offices.
The mayor recently issued an executive order making the vaccination mandatory for City Government employees. She said 600 unvaccinated employees will not be prioritized in the renewal of hiring.
Meanwhile, she also dispelled rumors that the city will be imposing a lockdown, and that those unvaccinated cannot leave their residences.
Based on the report from the Vaccination Cluster as of January 6, 2022, individuals who received anti-Covid vaccines in Davao Region reached a total of 2,447,358. Of the number, 1,155,778 individuals in Davao City have received their complete Covid-19 vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, the City Government noted a slow turnout of booster vaccination with only 49,215 Dabawenyos who availed themselves of the third jab as an added layer of protection against Covid-19.
Duterte-Carpio urged the Dabawenyos who are already fully vaccinated three months after getting their second dose to get their booster shots as an additional layer of protection against the virus. This, after the city is already experiencing an increase of cases, and in anticipation of the surge highly suspected to the Omicron variant.
The mayor’s statement is in contrast to the directive of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, wherein the latter ordered all barangay captains nationwide to restrain the movement of people who are unvaccinated.
Duterte said in his Talk to the People on January 6, that unvaccinated people who refuse to heed orders of authorities must be restrained to protect them and everybody in the community.
The President’s directive came as the Philippines has now been considered “high risk” for Covid-19 with the spike in the number of infections especially in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces.