The Catholic Diocese of Balanga, Bataan has tied up with the provincial government in procuring COVID-19 vaccines for its priests, their parents, and church workers.
According to Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, the diocese has set aside a budget for the vaccination campaign. He also confirmed that the vaccines will be free of charge and will be given to everyone who has been serving their diocese. (Read: PH Bishops Decline VIP Vaccination: ‘The Poor Are Priority’)
“Respectfully considering their consent and decision, we will provide free vaccinations to our priests, their parents, and our diocesan and parochial personnel,” Bishop Santos said.
He also noted that while everyone is encouraged to have themselves inoculated against COVID-19, the people of Balanga will still be given the freedom to decide if they want to get a shot of the vaccine or not. (Read: Pope Signs up for Vaccination, Says Others Should Do the Same)
“As the diocese will provide free vaccination, we will not force anyone and we will abide by your sound decision and respect your personal judgment,” he said.
Aside from giving out free vaccines for church workers, the diocese of Balanga, Bataan has also offered its church facilities and schools as vaccination centers.
“If needs arise, we have volunteer school nurses and some teachers as medical frontliners during the scheduled inoculations,” Bishop Santos said. (Read: PH Bishops Offer Church Facilities as Vaccination Hubs)
He added that while the “perilous and distressing” pandemic is also a challenge for them at the diocese, it still their main duty to serve the people and help in any way they can to alleviate people’s struggles amid the pandemic.
“Our diocese will see to it that in this difficult and devastating time of COVID-19, we are there for our people, doing what is right, legal, and moral,” he said.