MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday expressed support for the proposal to implement “transport bubbles” for those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 once half of Metro Manila’s target population receives Covid-19 jabs.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. "Joey" Concepcion III reiterated the need to impose bubbles for those fully vaccinated amid the emergence of the more transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant.
“Sa ngayon, papunta pa lang tayo sa population protection na 50 percent. Siguro pag naabot na natin ang 50 puwede na natin pag-usapan ‘yan pero sa ngayon, minorya pa lang ang fully vaccinated (Now, we are heading towards reaching population protection of 50 percent. Perhaps when we reach 50, we can talk about it, but now only the minority has been fully vaccinated),” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
Roque described Concepcion’s proposal as a “point well taken”, especially since Metro Manila is close to achieving its “population protection” target.
“Sandali na lang ‘to. Siguro after this week, maabot na ng Metro Manila ang 50 percent at mayroon na tayo kahit paanong population protection (This won’t take long. Perhaps after this week, Metro Manila will reach 50 percent vaccination and we will have population protection). We can then explore how we can resume normal life,” he added.
Earlier, Concepcion said the government could look into the possibility of imposing transport bubbles once local government units (LGUs) achieve a vaccination rate of 70 to 80 percent.
The national government eyes the complete vaccination of at least 50 percent of Metro Manila residents by end of August.
National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon, in the same briefing, said the National Capital Region (NCR) has so far vaccinated 41 percent of its target population.
"Yung tina-target po natin na 50 percent of eligible population na fully vaccinated ay kampante po tayo maabot natin 'yan dahil ngayon po as of Aug. 18, nasa 41 percent ng eligible population ng NCR ay fully vaccinated na (We are confident of reaching our target of vaccinating 50 percent of the eligible population in NCR because we have now reached 41 percent),” he said.
The government initially planned to vaccinate up to 70 million people to achieve herd immunity by year-end.
However, it adjusted its target from attaining herd immunity to population protection by inoculating 50 to 60 percent of the population with a concentration in Metro Manila, two other cities, and six provinces by yearend.
As of Aug. 18, the Philippines has administered 29.1 million Covid-19 jabs. Of this number, 12,877,197 are fully vaccinated. (PNA)