MABALACAT CITY— This component city has recorded the highest vaccination rate among all cities in the whole of Central Luzon based on the latest report released by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Against COVID-19.

No less than Secretary Vince Dizon, National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer and testing czar presented the latest vaccination data before all the mayors and governors in the Philippines during a virtual assembly held via Zoom on October 22, 2021.

Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo attributed the said outcome to the success of the city’s compendium of vaccination systems made possible through the efforts of focal local government departments in partnership with various stakeholders in the city.

“Nakakapawi po ng pagod ang balitang ito hindi lamang po para sa akin kundi para na rin po sa mga kawani ng lokal na pamahalaan at sa mga Mabalaqueños na patuloy na nagsisikap upang sama-samang masugpo ang pagkalat ng virus na ito,” said the city mayor.

“Kaunting panahon na lamang po at matatamasa na natin ang her immunity sa pamamagitan ng pagbakuna sa target population ng siyudad. Sisikapin rin po natin na makapag-bakuna ng higit pa sa target nating ito habang tayo ay tutulong rin sa ibang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa pagbakuna ng kanilang mga target population,” Mayor Garbo added.

Latest census from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA 2020) shows that Mabalacat City has a total of 293,244 residents. The Mabalacat City Government targets 70% of its eligible population pegged at 198,001 to be vaccinated to attain herd immunity.

Based on the IATF data, a total of 180,770 (87.97%) of the eligible population have already been vaccinated with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 123,061 (66.52%) have received their complete doses of COVID-19 vaccine. With these data, the IATF sees herd immunity in Mabalacaat City achievable by December.

Under Garbo’s helm, the Mabalacat City COVID-19 Response Integrated System was institutionalized to mobilize a well-defined local government framework that will focus on the prevention, contact tracing, isolation and reintegration of residents of Mabalacat City.

Aside from CRIS, Mayor Garbo established a city-run isolation and vaccine storage facility while intensifying the city’s immunization program against COVID-19 through the launch of an online registration system, as well as the activation of all rural health units and the establishment of vaccination hubs scattered across the city.

Garbo, who finished a medical degree, formed the MCG’s compendium of Vaccination Programs for healthcare workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, OFWs, economic frontliners (BPOs, small-medium scale businesses, and tourism), transportation sector, and the general public. Mabalacat City has also extended help to other local government units in vaccinating their target populations.

On September 27, 2021, the mayor ordered the vaccination of inmates against COVID-19 who are detained at the Angeles City District Jail. These pandemic initiatives were cited by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) during the agency’s Appreciation Program for Frontline Government Workers last September 27, 2021.

As of this writing, there are only 70 active cases in the city from a whopping 629 cases in August and 268 cases in September. The city also sees a steady decline in the daily COVID-19 infection rate to 1%.