By Rey Anthony Chiu | 08:39 PM March 05, 2022
Now that vaccination for 5-11 years old kids has been opened, parents or immediate family in government service who are accompanying their children for Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination can be excused.
In its Advisory No. 139, dated March 3, 2022, the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center provided the guidance to Regional and Local Vaccine Operations Center, implementing units and vaccine sites on the applicable Civil Service Commission directives on excuse absence benefits.
The guidance is also based on the CSC Directives on the Excuse / Absence Benefit under the Interim Guidelines on Absences of Government Officials and Employees Due to COVID-19 Vaccination and/or Adverse Events Following Immunization of Covid-19 Vaccine.
As to the NVOC, “pursuant to Section 21, Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules on Leave, as amended, special leave privileges are available to parents in the government service who are accompanying their children for COVID-19 vaccination.”
NVOC cites Section of the CSC directive on special leave privileges.
It said, in addition to the vacation, sick, maternity and paternity leave, officials and employees with or without existing Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA), except teachers and those covered by special leave laws, are granted the special leave privileges subject to conditions stated.
They are given leave privileges for parental obligations such as attendance in school programs, PTA meetings, graduations, first communion; medical needs, among others, where a child of the government employee is involved.
In fact, as to the directive, employees applying for special privilege leaves are no longer be required to present proof that they are entitled to avail of such leaves, the NVOC pointed out in its Advisory.
The leave privilege can be up to three days for a given year shall be strictly observed: an employee can avail of one special privilege leave for three days or a combination of any of the leaves for a maximum of three days in a given year, the CSC said.
These special leave privileges are non-cumulative and are strictly non-convertible to cash.
As to the advisory, by immediate family as defined, this refers to spouse, children, parents, unmarried brothers, and sisters or any relative living under the same roof or dependent upon the employee for support.”
The Advisory comes at the perfect time when the country races against time to expand its vaccination coverage to vulnerable sectors, as the upcoming elections could probably be another super-spreader event, should people continue to neglect and refuse the call to be protected.
Unless a place has fully vaccinated 70% of its total target population, and 80% of its senior citizens, then it may be ripe for a de-escalation from its present Alert Level 2 classification for Coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
NVOC advises LGUS on Covid Alert de-escalation parameters
This vaccination parameter forms part of the consideration for de-escalation of areas under Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1.
It may be recalled that the Inter Agency Task Force on the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued Resolution No. 163 which placed provinces, highly urbanized and independent component cities to their respective Alert Levels classification for Covid.
Recently however, the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center issued Advisory No 140, which provided further guidance to the regional and local vaccination operation centers (R/LVOCs), Implementing Units and Vaccination Sites on the new vaccination parameters as part of the Alert Level System.
The new parameter considers the full vaccination of seventy percent (70%) of the total target population, and the vaccination coverage of 80% of its priority group A2 or its senior citizens.
According to the NVOC, covering 70% of the target population is equivalent to covering 80% of the total projected population.
In Bohol, where the target population is 1,106,085, vaccinating with two doses some 774,260 Boholanos can be a factor for the IATF to de-escalate its Alert level 2 classification for COVID management.
At present, vaccination teams have given complete vaccination to 644,326 Boholanos, according to the Bohol IATF in its COVID Vaccination Report March 4.
That would also mean fully vaccinating 129,934 Boholanos in the next 10 days to get a chance at getting Alert level 1 for Covid by March 16.
The IATF has made the declaration of new Alert Level Systems every 15 days.
The bigger problem with that goal of fully vaccinating 129,934 is that in the same March 4 BIATF report, Bohol has only about 88,323 vaccine doses left, if no vaccine delivery happens anytime in the next 10 days.
BIATF said Bohol has already received 1,449,142 doses of various vaccines from March 6, 2021 to March 4, 2022.
Of this, its vaccination teams have already administered 1,360, 814 doses, leaving some 88,000 spare vaccines in Bohol’s cold storage facilities.
Other than hitting 70% of its target population, another parameter for de-escalation is a vaccination coverage of 80% of its Priority Group A2: Senior Citizens target population.
Hitting 80% of the target population is equivalent to hitting 85% of the total age group population, NVOC said.
The national vaccine operations hub also explained that senior citizens who are reported under Individuals with Comorbidities, Workers in Essential Services, or Poor Population and Rest of the Adult Population, should be tagged under senior citizens, for clarity.
When a senior citizen however is included in essential health services, he would be retained as such.
With this added parameter, NVOC said it will utilize reports submitted by the LVOCs/LGUs in the
Vaccination Operations System (VORS) in analyzing the coverage required by the IATF to determine areas for de-escalation to Alert Level 1, so that LVOCs / LGUs are encouraged to review submitted reports especially on the Senior Citizens data.
As a validation system, the NVOC would also use the line list submitted to the Vaccine Administration System (VAS) to countercheck on the reports.
As such, LVOCs and LGUs needing re-categorization of reported data, are instructed to contact their nearest Centers for Health Development Regional Directors and data managers for assistance and approval. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)