MANILA - Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday opposed an executive order issued in Lapu-Lapu City denying unvaccinated individuals entry to several establishments.
"Hindi pa napapanahon 'yung mga ganiyang policy kasi discriminatory pa rin siya at very prescriptive sa mga hindi pa bakunado," he told Teleradyo.
(The time is not yet right for this kind of policy because it's still discriminatory and very prescriptive for those not vaccinated.)
Starting Aug. 25, only vaccinated persons are allowed to enter public and private markets, including department stores, supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores, in Lapu-Lapu City.
Año stressed that the country still lacks enough vaccine supply and has yet to attain "population protection" as it is focusing vaccinations in specific areas and inoculating the most vulnerable.
He said his office was coordinating with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard "Ahong" Chan to iron out the order.
"Para sa akin, huwag nating i-discriminate 'yung hindi bakunado. Bakunahan natin sila. Maraming paraan para sila ay maengganyo," Año said.
(For me, let's not discriminate the unvaccinated. Let's vaccinate them. There are many ways to encourage them.)
The country has so far administered 18.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with at least 6.8 million individuals fully vaccinated and 11.3 million vaccinated with the first dose.
In a separate interview, Chan said the city government was giving its residents nearly a month to receive the anti-virus jabs.
"How to encourage my constituents to get vaccine? Ito lang ang paraan na nakikita ko (This is the only way I know)," he also told Teleradyo.
Two days after releasing Executive Order No. 2021-040, which received flak on social media, Chan said the number of vaccinated persons increased to 5,000 daily.
The city government has so far administered more than 70,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
"Siguro (Maybe), in the end of the month, we have 210,000 vaccinated sa lugar natin (in our place)," the mayor said.
Chan said he was imposing a strict order because the number of COVID-19 cases in the city was increasing.
As of July 27, Lapu-Lapu City has recorded 8,164 COVID-19 cases, of which 6,961 have recovered while 182 died from the disease. The city currently has 1,021 active cases or patients still battling COVID-19.