(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 26 May 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting the southern section of Mindanao. The entire Caraga region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms caused by Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Tuesday, March 1, 2022

PH ready to return to ‘normal’ after massive immunization—vaccine czar

The Philippines is gearing up to gradually return to normal exactly a year after the country began its COVID-19 vaccination drive, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday night, calling the milestone “historic".

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with key government officials prior to his "Talk to the People" at the MalacaƱan Palace on February 28, 2022. KARL ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“The National Capital Region, together with 38 areas, will begin the roadmap to the new normal starting tomorrow, exactly one year after we started the vaccination program… Napakagandang historic event, after one year, magde-declare na po tayo ng Alert Level 1,” Secretary Galvez said in his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a meeting on government’s COVID-19 interventions.

The population is expected to enjoy eased travel restrictions, more jobs, and face-to-face classes, among others, as the nation continues to build up and strengthen its “wall of immunity” against the deadly coronavirus disease through vaccination and boostering, said Galvez.

He, however, clarified that the government should continue to monitor and guide the public on how to self-regulate and manage the health situation, noting that the populace will have to learn to live with the virus.

Galvez, who is also the National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer, said on the remaining months of President Duterte’s term, they will continue to focus on immunizing the remaining unvaccinated elderly population and minors to build up the vulnerable sector’s resilience against the respiratory disease.

He also allayed concerns on vaccine supply, saying that at present, the Philippines has around 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccines stored in cold chain storage facilities and pediatric vaccine doses are scheduled to be delivered in the coming months.

The vaccine czar also expressed his gratitude to the local government units (LGUs), Department of Health (DOH), National Vaccination Operation Center (NVOC), National Task Force Against COVID-19, the private sector, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for working hand-in-hand with the government in ensuring that the vaccination drives remain safe and efficient.

Galvez likewise thanked other countries, foreign partners and bilateral allies, and the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility for donating vaccines and vaccine supplies to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, President Duterte lauded Galvez for all his efforts as vaccine czar and NTF COVID-19 chief implementer.

“Any superior would be very happy to have you pero lahat naman kayo eh. I could not have chosen better men, actually,” he said. PND