VACCINATION PRIORITY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on Monday night (April 12, 2021). Duterte said he is willing to waive getting a Covid-19 vaccine, saying it is better to prioritize those who need the vaccine to “live productively.” (Presidential photo by King Rodriguez)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he is willing to waive a Covid-19 vaccination slot, saying it is better to prioritize those who need the vaccine to “live productively.”

In a pre-recorded public address, Duterte said he is fine with not receiving a Covid-19 vaccine since he described himself as “fatalistic.”

“Ako, magwi-waive ako. Kung sino ‘yong may gusto sa slot ko, ibigay ko (Me, I will waive receiving a vaccine. Whoever wants my slot can have it),” he said.

He noted that he had always believed that he would die if it is already his time to die.

“I am that fatalistic actually. I have always been na kung panahon ko na (if it’s my time) either it’s Covid or a bala (a bullet) or whatever disgrasya (accident). Wala akong masyadong ano diyan sa (I do not have many) illusions about life and death. If anyone wants to have it, they can have it,” he added.

Duterte emphasized that those who had a better chance of living productively should be prioritized as Covid-19 vaccine recipients.

“Ang unahin natin ‘yong mabubuhay pa (Let’s prioritize those who will live long). Well, come to think of it actually, ang unahin natin ‘yong medyo pagka nabigyan ng vaccine (let’s prioritize those that if you give them a vaccine), there’s a chance that he would live and live productively,” he said.

He said most senior citizens are “no longer that productive” unless they are working in the government.

“(A) few of us only are there in government working. Most of the senior citizens are no longer that productive. Puwera na lang ‘yong na-elect itong mga naging congressman, senador kasi may trabaho talaga ‘yan (Except those elected as congressmen, senators, because they really have jobs),” he said.

Despite being a public official himself, Duterte said he had nothing else to look forward to in his old age.

Duterte turned 76-years-old last March 28.

“Ako, after this, (I have) nothing to look forward to. Maybe spend a little bit time with the family, then time to go,” he said.

Senior citizens are second in line in the government’s Covid-19 vaccine priority list after frontline medical workers.

As of Monday, the government had administered Covid-19 vaccines to more than 1 million Filipinos.

In previous speeches, Duterte has been vocal about his preference to be inoculated with a vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.

The Palace earlier denied rumors that Duterte has already been administered with a Covid-19 vaccine. (PNA)