President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the resignation of lawyer Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto as Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) executive director, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday.
Earlier, Isberto opposed the construction of a mega COVID-19 vaccination facility in the NPF land in Parañaque City.
"I don’t know under what particular details it was accepted, there’s a resignation from Nayong Pilipino director and it was accepted by the President," Nograles said in an ANC interview.
Nograles then assured the public that the building of the mega COVID-19 vaccination site in the NPF land will push through and is above board even if the foundation's Board earlier opposed the building plan as it would entail the cutting of 500 trees.
"In every aspect of the project nandiyan ang DENR. Wala namang mga environmental concerns. It’s a reclaimed land, it is not being utilized, it seemed like an appropriate site in terms of accessibility. Wala namang tatamaan na mga puno diyan," Nograles said.
[The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been a part of the process and there were no environmental impact concerns. No trees will be affected.]
"This mega facility is pushing through. A MOA is forthcoming. Minor technical details [are being ironed out] but it will be signed. [I'm] very very sure," he added.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that the planned COVID-19 vaccination facility is only temporary, and it is key to achieving government's herd immunity target since the facility is expected to service 10,000 to 12,000 people daily.
He said the dispute between the national government and the NFP board over the proposed construction of the mega site won’t derail the government’s vaccination program.
“Hindi po makakaapekto iyan ‘no kasi sa ngayon po, kokonti nga lang iyong ating supply. Naghahanda lang po tayo na kapag talagang lahat na ng ating mga kababayan at napakadami na nating supply ay pupuwede nang mabakunahan,” Roque said.
(That dispute won’t affect our COVID-19 vaccination program because we have low supply so far. We are just preparing for a time when we will have a steady supply of vaccines and everybody can already get a COVID-19 vaccine.)
Roque echoed earlier pronouncement of Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles that the mega vaccination center is above board and will not be damaging to the environment.
“There is no feud because based on our Constitution and administrative code, GOCCs are under the office of the President. Just because these GOCCs have a board does not mean they will get away with refusing to implement a government policy,” Roque said.
“The building of mega vaccination site is an exercise of police power because we need to protect the health of our people. Nayong Pilipino should toe the line, and I think the message [has been] received,” he added.
As of May 11, the government has administered at least 2.5 million of its 7.7M doses of COVID-19 vaccine supply.
Also, 78% of the 2.5M doses were first dose, meaning at least 514,655 have been fully vaccinated with two doses.
The Philippines needs to vaccinate around 70% of its 110 million population to achieve herd immunity. —LBG, GMA News