"If members of our military get sick, who else would be able to do their jobs?"
National security has no price tag. It is non-negotiable. Even in the midst of the pandemic, the security of the nation and its people remains utmost in the duties and priorities of the government. The government is eternally bound to protect its citizens and preserve peace and order, regardless of the costs. Last year, we saw how the military and the police stood on the frontlines in ensuring the orderly implementation of the community quarantine nationwide. Today, members of our Armed Forces are still on their feet, ever vigilant and active in their service.
There is no doubt that the service of the military and the police is invaluable. Our armed men are manning entry and exit points in cities and municipalities all over the country. They perform routine inspections, aid in humanitarian work of local government units and the national government agencies, and respond to emergency situations. For the past several months leading to December, the military were also involved in typhoon emergency response and rescue operations in inundated areas in Metro Manila, Bicol, Quezon, Cagayan, Agusan Del Sur, and other provinces affected by the recent strong typhoons and low-pressure areas. Last November, the Department of Defense reiterated that the military continues to monitor activities in the West Philippine Sea and protect our territorial waters.
With all these in mind, I deem it only right that we likewise ensure their protection, especially against the COVID-19. If these men get sick, who else would be able to do their jobs?
The government has included our armed men in the list of priority sectors to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Despite the allegations that these men and women were able to obtain their vaccine shots first, I deem that it is only necessary that the people who will be implementing the vaccination program and those tasked to ensure the safety and protection of those who will be lining up and likewise receiving the vaccine should be protected first. Note that our military has been and will continue to be exposed to the public as they perform their duties. Many of them have already been afflicted with the virus. Hence, the risks they endure and they may bring to others should not be set aside.
Make no mistake. We are at war. The military continues to fight a war with an invisible enemy. We must arm them with what they need to overcome this pandemic.
With the vaccines being readied and made available to countries all over the world, we should not lose sight of what is important. Local government units and the national government are allocating funds to procure millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be given to the public. While we patiently wait, let us continue exercising vigilance, remain responsible and health-aware citizens, and practice COVID-19 etiquette and safety measures to protect not only ourselves but the people around us. Let us keep the new year’s light and hope in our hearts as we survive this pandemic.