MANILA - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Monday assured Pasigueños that the local government is not giving special treatment to anyone in its COVID-19 vaccination program, noting that even his mother - veteran actress Coney Reyes, a senior citizen with comorbidities - has yet to receive the jab.
Since last month, the city has been administering COVID-19 vaccine to medical frontliners, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities on a per schedule basis.
"Strictly, no walk-in... Pinipilit natin na maging maayos yung sistema... Kung nagkukumpulan tayo, baka doon pa magkahawahan," Sotto said.
(We are trying our best to have an orderly system... If it is too crowded, we might end up spreading the disease.)
"Nanay ko nga mismo, hindi pa nababakunahan," he said, adding that she is already 67 years old and has comorbidities.
(Even my mom has yet to be vaccinated.)
"Lumalabas pa siya 'pag may trabaho. Pero walang palakasan. Dumaan po sa tamang proseso. Nag-fill up siya ng form."
(She goes out for work sometimes. But there is no special treatment. Everyone must go through the right process. She has also filled up the necessary form.)
"Hinihingi niya pa nga sa'kin 'yung link. Sabi ko, 'Tingnan mo na lang sa PIO (Public Information Office), Ma, kung saan 'yung link,'" he said.
(She even asked for the link. But I told her to just search for it on the Public Information Office [page].)
The mayor said his mother is expected to be scheduled to receive her COVID-19 jab either "next week or this weekend".
"Nanay ko mismo, kailangan i-text muna ng vaccination profiler ng team kung kailan ang schedule niya," he said.
(Even my mom needs to wait for a text message from the vaccination profiler before she can be scheduled for a vaccine.)
"Medyo kinakabahan din siyang mabakunahan, pero willing na naman siya," he added.
(She's a bit nervous to be vaccinated but she's willing.)
Since assuming power in 2019, Sotto discouraged his family from visiting him in his office to avoid impressions that his kin - who also live in Pasig - are entitled to receive special treatment from the local government.
In February, the US State Department named Sotto as one of the 12 "anticorruption champions," an award meant to "recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership, courage, and impact in preventing, exposing and combating corruption."
Sotto "is a standard-bearer for a new generation of Philippine politicians who prioritize anticorruption and transparency initiatives in their election campaigns and in office," the agency said in a statement.
In March, the 31-year-old mayor also received recognition from the Senate as lawmakers lauded his "transformational brand of leadership exemplified by his various proactive and innovative measures amid the coronavirus pandemic."