QC drivers, OFWs get free jabs on Labor Day

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MANILA – Overseas workers and other front-liners in essential sectors received a most fitting Labor Day gift on Saturday: Free inoculation against Covid-19.

Quezon City was among the sites of simultaneous vaccinations as part of the celebration of International Labor Day.

A total of 450 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tricycle operators and drivers were chosen for the free jabs.

Sa araw po na ito, hinihikayat ko kayong lahat na magpabakuna dahil karapatan ninyo na magkaron ng malusog na pangangatawan, at sa pamamagitan lang ng bakuna tayo makaka-angat sa kinalalagyan po natin ngayon (On this day, I am encouraging all of you to get vaccinated because it is your right to have a healthy body, and only through a vaccine that we will be able to rise from this situation),” Mayor Joy Belmonte said during her speech at the City Hall.

Belmonte, a two-time Covid-19 survivor, stressed that as the Department of Health (DOH) had been saying, the benefits of Covid-19 vaccines outweigh the risks.

Pagkatapos ninyong makita na wala palang masamang epekto ay sana hikayatin ninyo ang kapwa nating manggagawa. Lahat dapat magpabakuna sapagkat ito lamang ang solusyon para makaraos na tayo dito sa halimaw na pandemyang ito (After you see that vaccines have no bad effects, please encourage your co-workers. We should all get vaccinated because this is the only solution to this monster of a pandemic),” Belmonte said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he has the highest respect for the labor force, including OFWs, as they keep the economy afloat.

The symbolic vaccination rollout on Labor Day showed the government recognizes the important contribution of workers by fulfilling its obligation to keep its people healthy, Duque said.

Ito pong ating ginagawa ngayong araw ay para po sa pagkilala ng inyo pong na-i-ambag at patuloy na sakripisyo para po mapaunlad ang ating ekonomiya, at mapaunlad po ang ating bayan. Dahil sa inyo pong pagiging mapaglikha, ’yung productivity ng ating pong mga manggagawa ay talagang nakakaktulong yan sa pagsulong ng ating eknomiya (What we are doing today is a recognition of your valuable contribution to help the country’s economy. Because of your creativity and hard work, the country is able to move forward),” he said.

When the country gets enough vaccine supplies, he said everyone must avail of the protection.

While waiting for more Covid-19 vaccines to arrive, Duque encouraged everyone to follow minimum health standards.

‘Pag pinagsama natin ang face mask, face shield at social distancing, lampas 95 percent ang proteksyon na taglay nito at kung magpapabakuna kayo ay mas malaki ang proteksyong maidudulot nito (If we combine face mask, face shield and observe social distancing, we are already 95 percent protected, and if we get vaccinated, our protection would be much higher),” he said.

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