SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. praised the efforts of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma to vaccinate workers and other economic frontliners in the Subic Bay Freeport.
Speaking in the town of Subic in Zambales during the second day of the National Vaccination Day-Phase 2 on Thursday, Galvez noted that the SBMA has been extending its vaccine rollout to companies inside the Freeport to keep workers safe and sustain economic activities despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
He pointed out that the SBMA has focused on the private sector, including Freeport stakeholders, while local government units (LGUs) attended to the communities, especially residents with comorbidity, senior citizens, and the youth.
Galvez also cited the role of the SBMA in establishing the Subic Freeport as an entry point for repatriation of overseas Filipino workers, as well as for returning seafarers under the government’s crew change program.
Eisma, for her part, said that it was her job as SBMA chairman to take care of Freeport workers and take necessary action, especially as she observed that LGUs were having a hard time securing vaccine supplies for their constituents.
“For me, it was very important that workers are vaccinated and protected because they are the ones going out every day to sustain their families during the pandemic when most people were told to stay home,” Eisma said.
“It’s very fortunate for us that business locators in Subic are very cooperative, so we have done very well on our company-based vaccination program where we usually had two or three companies scheduled for vaccination for day’s vaccine rollout,” she added.
Eisma also thanked Sec. Duque, Sec. Galvez and Covid-19 testing czar Sec. Vince Hizon for supporting the SBMA vaccine initiative. “They are all very accessible. Our success in vaccination is largely due to their support,” she said.
The SBMA chief said that as of December 16, the SBMA, in partnership with the Department of Health, has administered a total of 19,535 doses of vaccine, mostly to workers in the A4 category with a total of 5,617 first doses and 3,993 second doses.
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The SBMA-DOH vaccine rollout also benefited Olongapo City residents with 7,661 first doses, 5,406 second doses, and 57 booster shots; Subic Bay Freeport residents with 1,208 first doses, 1,119 second doses, and 6 booster shots; Zambales residents with 1,383 first doses, 1,069 second doses, and 16 booster shots; and LGUs outside Zambales with 997 first doses, 610 second doses, and 3 booster shots.
“We are very confident that most employees of companies located inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone are either fully vaccinated or have reached herd immunity status. The SBMA itself has close to 2,800 employees and only 10 remain unvaccinated due to medical reasons,” she added.
Eisma also said that the SBMA is “looking forward to economic recovery next year,” pointing out that some Subic companies have even started expanding operations, and that tourists are now back in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. (30)
 Health Secretary Francisco Duque III administers a vaccine to a resident of Subic, Zambales during the second day of the National Vaccination Day-Phase 2. Witnessing the vaccine rollout are SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma (right), Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, Subic mayor Jon Khonghun, and DOH Asst. Sec. Maria Francia Laxamana.
 Health Secretary Francisco Duque III poses with a vaccine recipient after administering a dose during the second day of the National Vaccination Day-Phase 2 in Subic, Zambales. With them are (L-R): DOH Asst. Sec. Maria Francia Laxamana, Subic mayor Jon Khonghun, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, DOH Region-3 Director Corazon Flores, and SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma
 DOH Asst. Sec. Maria Francia Laxamana gives a vaccine shot to a worker during the second day of the National Vaccination Day-Phase 2 at the Harbor Point Ayala Mall in the Subic Bay Freeport, as SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, DOH Region-3 Director Corazon Flores and SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations Ronnie Yambao look on.
 DOH Asst. Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana poses with a vaccine recipient after administering a shot during the second day of the National Vaccination Day-Phase 2 at the Harbor Point Ayala Mall in the Subic Bay Freeport. With them are SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, DOH Region-3 Director Corazon Flores and SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations Ronnie Yambao.