The Department of Health (DOH) today welcomed the announcement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to transform church facilities in the country to COVID-19 vaccination sites.

“We are happy with the CBCP’s offer to have churches as vaccination hubs if needed. Churches really can be alternative sites to areas that lack facility, especially those in hard-to-reach municipalities,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

CBCP President and Davao City Archbishop Romulo Valles said that the Church’s role is to serve God and His people. “We can offer our church facilities to help in this massive and complicated and very challenging program of vaccination,” Rev. Valles said in a virtual press conference conducted by CBCP.

The DOH has been reaching out to several medical and allied health professionals, local government units and other sectors to help in the coming vaccine rollout and in boosting vaccine confidence. The DOH admitted that the task of vaccinating millions of Filipinos would need the assistance of everyone.

Rev. Valles, on the other hand, said that if necessary, they are also willing to be vaccinated in public if such an act will help build confidence in the government’s vaccine campaign. CBCP Vice President Bishop Pablo Virgilio David likewise said that they are willing to help in allaying the public’s fear of vaccination.

“The move of the CBCP to transform church facilities to vaccination sites will surely expedite delivery of most-needed healthcare services. This also adds up to the public’s uptake on vaccines as the bishops expressed their willingness to get vaccinated. The government cannot do this alone, we need the whole of the society to implement the COVID-19 immunization program. Most importantly, we need the majority to trust vaccines and the processes that it underwent before we approve it for use,” Sec. Duque said.