While other countries are now in the process of vaccinating their citizens against Covid-19, the Philippines is still playing “eenie meanie miney mo” regarding which vaccine to buy for its citizens. While the big cities in the country have taken the initiative in choosing (and covering the cost) of vaccinating its most vulnerable sectors, the national government is still to show some urgency in the immediate nature of the situation, considering that it had borrowed copious amounts ostensibly to purchase the vaccines.
The BARMM, which includes some of the poorest provinces in the country, like the rest of the provinces who have yet to act regarding this mass vaccination, can stand to lose a great deal in the vaccination race if the national government will not step in or the region itself does not find ways to vaccinate its most vulnerable populations. Will it step up in the race, or will it be part of what the World Health Organization describes as a “moral catastrophe” as wealthier (and more pro-active nations) successfully vaccinate their people against the scourge? Considering how things go at this end of the country, it is likely that wealthier and more powerful citizens will secure their own vaccine doses, leaving the poor at risk of catching the virus with all its dangers, adding to the numbers of infected or deceased whose fates would have been avoided had timely and equitable action been done.
Islamic governance involves serving the most disadvantaged sectors of society more than the wealthy. This pandemic should serve as the perfect opportunity for the region to put its battle cry into practice. PMT