MANILA - Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday urged the executive department to include public school teachers and other education personnel among the prioritized recipients of COVID-19 vaccines next year.
Inoculating teachers against COVID-19 is a "crucial step in ensuring the safety of school premises and in building confidence for the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes," Gatchalian, the Senate Committee on Basic Education chair, said in a statement.
"Dahil ang ating mga guro, mga punong-guro, at kawani ng mga paaralan ay nagsisilbing mga frontliners sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon, nararapat lamang na mabilang sila sa mga unang makakatanggap ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19," he said.
(Because our teachers, head teachers and school personnel serve as frontliners in continuing education during the pandemic, they deserve to be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.)
"Mahalagang hakbang ito upang matiyak nating ang pagbabalik ng ating mga mag-aaral sa mga paaralan ay magiging ligtas," he said.
(This is an important step to ensure that our students are safe when they return to schools.)
Gatchalian's call echoes the position of the United Nations, which earlier said that the education sector must be prioritized in COVID-19 vaccination programs as schools and education are "irreplacable."
Malacañang earlier said that 24.6 million Filipinos would be included in the government's initial COVID-19 vaccination program.