Vaccinatio­n of A4 priority group kicks off in Subic

- By Henry Empeño Correspond­ent

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—THE vaccinatio­n program for the A4 priority group composed of frontline personnel in essential sectors and other economic frontline workers in the country started here last Tuesday with five employees of a manufactur­ing firm getting their first shot of Covid-19 vaccine.

The ceremonial launch of the A4 vaccinatio­n program was held at the main office of Japanese manufactur­er Nidec Subic Philippine­s Corp., one of the Subic companies which has remained operating in full force amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first to be vaccinated were Nidec President Kiyoshi Sato, the firm’s General Manager Marissa Tamayo, and factory workers Carol Adamos, Dexter Saludez, and Ruel Fernandez.

Present during the ceremony were Deputy chief implemente­r of the National Action Plan Against Covid-19 Vince Dizon, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecre­tary Roger Tong-an, Subic Bay Metropolit­an Authority (SBMA) Chairman Wilma T. Eisma, Zambales Vice Governor Jay Khonghun, and Presidenti­al spokesman Harry Roque, who also conducted a news briefing later at the vaccinatio­n site.

Chairman Eisma said the vaccinatio­n program is expected to snowball among the registered business locators here and help bring about Subic’s economic revival. A total of 1,744 companies are located in Subic and employ a total of 138,964 workers as of June this year.

“This undertakin­g is very important because the workers are the backbone of the economy and it is important that we maintain their well-being and safety at all times,” Eisma said.

“We are happy that our economic frontliner­s may now do their work without fear of getting serious effects of Covid-19,” she added.

The ceremonial vaccinatio­n was organized by the SBMA, DOH, the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF), and the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Nidec’s top official Sato, meanwhile, said that Nidec employees were honored to be chosen for the launch of the A4 mass vaccinatio­n in the Philippine­s.

“Due to the support that we received from SBMA Chairman Eisma, the DOH team and the Philippine government, we are able to provide the vaccine to you all today, free of charge,” Sato told Nidec workers during the ceremony.

Nidec has been operating in Subic since 1998 and has invested $100 million to produce hard-disc drive motors and gearboxes mainly for robotics and other automation-related industries. The firm employs 458 workers and plans to increase employment to 800 this year, Sato said.

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