Koronadal City, South Cotabato – NEDA XII joined a caravan and immersion program organized by SOCCSKSARGEN’s Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases and Task Force on CoVID-19 in support of the 3-day National Vaccination Program. Regional Directors and Heads of various government agencies from  DILG XII, DPWH XII, DepEd XII, PIA XII, and the 6th Infantry Division in the region spearheaded the caravan and became ambassadors of the vaccination program as their expression of support.

SOCCSKSARGEN is among the lagging regions in terms of vaccination reach-out ranking 16th out of 17 regions in the country. This alarming situation motivated the members of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases and Task Force on CoVID-19 to conduct an immersion program, simultaneous with the 3-day National Vaccination Days.

Included in the itinerary was a visit to 3 municipalities in Cotabato Province with low vaccination reach-out, namely, the municipalities of Pikit, Aleosan, and  Carmen; and one city, Kidapawan, with highest vaccination rate. The group also paid a courtesy call to the local government units’ officials, visited the vaccination sites to observe and document the good practices of the LGUs, a “rekoreda” and a public address campaign in public places where people converge such as the public market and plaza.

“Hinihikayat naming makilahok at magpabakuna ang mga residente ng bayan ng Carmen na hindi pa bakunado upang muli nating maibalik ang sigla ng ating ekonomiya at mapanatili nating ligtas ang bawat isa sa pagdiriwang ng pasko at pagsalubong ng bagong taon”, a message emphasized by Assistant Regional Director Carmel P. Matabang of NEDA XII,  during the “rekoreda” at the Carmen Public Market.

A whole of government support through “Bayanihan” and volunteerism are among the good practices of the LGUs in every vaccination site visited. The members of the Sangguniang Kabataan, employees of the LGUs, DepEd XII teachers, PNP, BFP, and AFP personnel together with the medical society members and student volunteers manned the vaccination sites performing the duties and responsibilities at all stages of the standard COVID-19 vaccination process. Moreover, some LGUs provided attractive incentives for the residents such as giving rice, dressed chicken, and motorcycle fares to entice the residents to support the call for vaccination against CoVID-19.

The Filipinos were called to support the 3-day massive vaccination drive dubbed as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” on November 29-December 1, 2021. The said activity aimed to significantly increase the number of vaccinated Filipinos to attain herd immunity at the earliest time possible so that the country could celebrate a safe and healthy yuletide season this year.

This activity was implemented by the Joint RIATF-EID XII and RTF XII on CoVID-19 as a strategy in the Campaign for Massive COVID-19 Vaccination in Region XII.  The Multi Stakeholders Advisory Council (MSAC) XII also passed Resolution No. 2021-018, series of 2021: A Resolution Requesting All the Members of the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Council (MSAC) XII to be Ambassadors of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, which was also supported by the Regional Development Council XII. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado, NEDA XII – PFPD)