By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang yesterday issued a reminder to the public that the COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in the city are free.
This came amid reports that several people were victimized by “runners” and “fixers” who are asking for a fee in exchange for a slot in the ongoing vaccination program, especially those being held at the city’s shopping malls.
In a statement, Ang said the city does not charge anyone for vaccination. She said the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in no way connected to the “runners” and “fixers” who are collecting any fees for the vaccine.
“We would like to ask everyone to be wary of these unscrupulous people who are trying to take advantage of the situation,” Ang said.
Based on a report that surfaced earlier this week, a group of walk-ins were allegedly approached by a “runner” at the SMX Convention Center asking them P1,500 each in exchange for a vaccination slot.
In desperation, the walk-ins later agreed to pay the P1,500 and they were vaccinated.
Ang said the incident is a “very serious accusation” pointing out they will not tolerate it. She further stated that they do not encourage walk-ins at the moment so as to effectively control the crowds and maintain proper distancing in their vaccination sites.
She also said those who want to get vaccinated should register at tinyurl.com/bcdceironline and wait to be notified of their schedule./DGB, WDJ