Palace denies neglecting Visayas, Mindanao in COVID vaccine distribution

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2021 01:55 PM

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Malacañang on Tuesday denied neglecting Visayas and Mindanao in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, which supposedly contributed to a spike in coronavirus infections in these areas. 

Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez earlier Tuesday said authorities were "taking their sweet time" distributing the bulk of coronavirus shots in Metro Manila, despite request for additional jabs. 

"Hindi po totoo ‘yan, na ginipit natin ang ibang parte ng Pilipinas," Palace spokesman Harry Roque said, when asked to react to acccusations of neglect. 

(It is not true that we stalled other areas of the Philippines.) 

The government only allocated around 38 percent of the vaccine supply to the capital region and surrounding areas. Authorities are also sending additional jabs to other areas experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, he said in a press briefing. 

Data shows compliance with health protocols went down in areas suffering coronavirus surges, added the official. 

Provinces in central and southern Philippines accounted for nearly a third of new cases in the past two weeks, government data show.

President Rodrigo Duterte has imposed tighter restrictions in 9 cities and 12 provinces, including those in central and southern Philippines, that limit the operating capacity of businesses and shut down non-essential establishments, from June 16 t o 30. 

– With a report from Reuters