ZAMBOANGA CITY — To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 along with other government agencies partnered with the Local Government Unit of Zamboanga City to assist in the vaccination of its residents – giving priority in preparing the A4 group which consists of workers from the fishing and canning allied industry, industry partners and neighboring communities.

A total of 550 workers were vaccinated yesterday at the Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic State University Gymnasium. This number consists of 300 workers from the fishing and canning companies, 150 personnel from the Philippine Coastguard and 100 personnel from ZZPSU.

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the topic on vaccination of workers came up in the quarterly meetings with the management and labor representatives of the fishing and canning industry considering that this industry is essential and a key employment generator in our City.

DOLE 9 represented by Director Buenafe entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Health 9, the LGU of Zamboanga City, Philippine Coastguard 9, 54th Engineering Brigade, Philippine National Police, Southern Philippines Fishing Association, Zamboanga City Medical Center, ZAMCELCO, ZPPSU and Universidad de Zamboanga which outlines each party’s commitment for the vaccination of the said priority group.

Present during the MOA-signing were Engr Jaydrick Johnson A. Yap, SOPHIL President and Roy L. Valesco, Dean of the ZPPSu Student Affairs and Academic Support.

“We are grateful to our partners for the full support in our vaccination efforts. This activity is just the beginning, we are working on vaccinating more employees in the A4 group. DOLE 9 through its Nursing Service Unit augmented the medical team of the City Health Office and will continue to do so,” shared Director Buenafe.

Gerldine Villacura, HR Manager of Century Pacific Philippines Inc expressed her gratitude:

“We are grateful cay ya puede dale oportunidad el DOLE 9 through ITC [Industry Tripartite Council] Fishing and Canning con el de amon maga empleyado para en este vaccination program. Ojala puede pa kita ayuda mas mucho pa mga empleyado para protehe contra el COVID-19 y para continua tambien el negocio. (We are grateful to DOLE 9 and ITC Fishing and Canning for giving the employees a chance to participate in the vaccination program. Hopefully, we can help protect more employees from COVID-19 and that business can go on.)”

“We are thankful to DOLE and the ITC because most of our seabased and land based workers are now vaccinated. We don’t have to worry about looking for vaccination sites for them,” shared Honne Magnate of ZC Victory Fishing Corporation.

An ITC or Industry Tripartite Council (ITC) is composed of regional or local industry representatives from the workers’ and employers’ sectors and other government agencies directly involved with the specific industry which primarily serves as a consultative body. ### Karen Grafia

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