By J. Jala and Helen Castano | 03:01 PM March 24, 2021
Lila Mayor Arturo “Jed” Piollo II said he opted to get vaccinated to encourage others to be inoculated after some of the town’s medical workers refused Covid vaccine out of fear.
“Never asked any special favors or accommodations by virtue of my office. Never abused or misused my authority or the functions of this position that is entrusted to me for the time being. Never betrayed the trust of the people in one way or the other. Never had and Never will, ” Piollo said in a statement Wednesday.
He said that medical and emergency-response workers have expressed reluctance to take the new coronavirus vaccine, a reflection of unease that officials hope to overcome as they ramp up the nationwide immunisation effort.
Piollo was one of the three mayors in Bohol to receive a dose of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine. Other mayors were Virgilio Mendez of San Miguel and Victoriano Torres III of Alicia.
Piollo received the jab through the national vaccination program despite a policy that the limited jabs should be reserved for health workers.
“When we rolled out our vaccination drive for our medical frontliners, our Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams were all afraid to take the vaccine. At past 11 o’clock in the morning, when I personally visited the vaccination center, i discovered that there were nobody else coming in to be vaccinated. The screening area was full of empty chairs and idle staff waiting. Our vehicles picking up the BHERTs from the Barangays came back empty. Despite our intensive Education Campaign, the people are still not convinced about the vaccination, particularly our BHERT. We recievesd messeges and feed backs coming from the Barangays stating “Nganong kami man unahon, unya wala pa si Mayor? ( Why should we get this first when the Mayor himself did not have it yet?), or ug unsay itupok ni Mayor, mao pod ang amoa. ( What vaccine the Mayor gets, will be the same vaccine that we should also get). In other words, the people were looking up to me to get this shot first, ” Piollo narrated.
“I made my manifestation on the circumstances that we were facing to the Regional Director of the DOH, Dr. Bernadas, through the zoom meeting with the different allied agencies, who said it is beyond his authority to decide on the matter. But I take it upon myself in order to save the program and to encourage the people to get vaccinated, I decided and asked my vaccination team to have me vaccinated,” he said.
He told his constituents he is willing to make sacrifices.
“Sa atong katawhan sa lungsod sa Lila, andam ko kanunay nga mopailawom sa tanang gibug-aton sa mga buluhaton para sa katawhan. Andam ko nga monsakripisyo para makahatag sa atong gikinahanglan para sa tanan. Andam ko nga mubutang sa akong kaugalingon sa piligro para lang mahaw-as kitang tanan sa kalisdanan nga atong giatubang niining pandemya sa covid-19, apil na ang posible nga imbestigasyon nga ipasaka tungod niining maong pagpabakuna nako kauban sa mga medical front liners, ” he said.
“Kanunay kong ni bati sa mga sakripisyo ug kalisdanan nga giatubang sa atong mga frontliners mao nga makighiusa ko kanila sa kalisod ug sa kalipay. wala jod ko nangayo ug espesyal nga pagtratar kay dili na ang akong pagka lider sa atong lungsod, ” Piollo added.