The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) finalized guidelines formalizing the inclusion of media and education workers, in the A4 group of the Covid-19 vaccination priority list.
Among those also updated in the list are members of the diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel manning consular services, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) employees monitoring infrastructure projects, litigation lawyers, cable and internet service providers, and public utility workers.
Recognizing the nature of their work and important role in keeping the public informed about the pandemic, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the move, “Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa national government dahil dininig nila ang ating apela na isama ang mga miyembro ng media sa bakuna priority.”
Specifically, the National Economic and Development Authority said that the A4 classification includes workers who have “high levels of interaction with or exposure to the public” and economic sectors that are “needed to ensure security, consumers and worker safety.”
The complete list released finally by the IATF is as follows:
- Commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
- Public and private wet and dry market vendors
- Frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services
- Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
- Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
- Frontline workers in private and government financial services
- Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments
- Priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders
- Security guards/ personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
- Frontline workers in private and government news media
- Customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution, and water distribution utilities
- Frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies
- Overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months
- Frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
- Frontline government workers engaged in the operations of government transport system, quarantine inspection
- Worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities
- Frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel
- Diplomatic community and DFA personnel in consular operations
- DPWH personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects
“Ang media ay napakaimportanteng sektor at maituturing ding essential workers dahil sa tungkulin na kanilang ginagampanan. Sila ang nagdadala ng balita at kasangga natin sila sa pagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon sa publiko,” Go explained.
Frontline personnel in basic and higher education institutions and agencies are now listed under Priority Group A4, upgraded from the B1 group.
Recognizing their equally important contributions, Senator Go also lauded essential workers whose roles allow society to weather the challenges brought by COVID-19, “Saludo po tayo sa kagitingan ng lahat ng frontliners. Bukod sa mga medical at uniformed personnel, kilalanin rin natin ang serbisyo at sakripisyo ng iba pang mga ordinaryong manggagawa, tulad ng media, na nakikipagbayanihan sa laban na ito.”
Meanwhile, Go encouraged the public to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. He also urged everyone to educate themselves about the vaccines, particularly with regard to their safety and efficacy, and to rely on the verified information released by the proper authorities and health experts.
By providing the right information, Go said that this can empower communities to participate more in the Bayanihan efforts related to the overcoming the pandemic.
Go added, “Makiisa po tayong lahat. Bawat isa sa atin ay may mahalagang papel na ginagampanan sa laban na ito. Hindi po ito laban ng gobyerno lamang kundi laban ng buong sambayanang Pilipino.”