Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) Five local chief executives were issued a show cause order for jumping the queue to get their coronavirus vaccine shots.
Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing sent CNN Philippines a list of the five mayors who got their COVID-19 shots ahead of others, while inoculation is still ongoing for medical frontliners in the country.
They were:
– Mayor Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City, Leyte (vaccinated March 22)
– Mayor Dibu Tuan of T’boli, South Cotabato (vaccinated March 19)
– Mayor Sulpicio Villalobos of Sto. Niño, South Cotabato (vaccinated March 19)
– Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City, Albay (vaccinated March 16)
– Mayor Abraham Ibba of Bataraza, Palawan (vaccinated March 22)
Romualdez was injected with China’s Sinovac vaccine on Monday. It is not clear what brand the other mayors received.
However, these five were not the only local officials who jumped the line.
Mayor Elanito Peña of Minglanilla, Cebu and three Bohol mayors Mayor Victoriano Torres of Alicia, Mayor Virgilio Mendez of San Miguel, and Mayor Arturo Piollo II of Lila also got their own COVID-19 shots ahead of others over the past days. Most announcements were made through their own or their local governments social media pages.
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According to Densing, public officials may face possible suspension for violating the vaccine prioritization, adding that the Office of the Ombudsman will determine the proper sanctions.
Health Undersecretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated the previous warning of the World Health Organization that the country may risk losing millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the global COVAX facility if it fails to follow prioritization requirements.
RELATED: PH non-compliance to COVAX may jeopardize allocated vaccines WHO official 
“Ang WHO ay nagbigay na ng babala na kung saka-sakaling magkakaroon po ng breaches doon po sa ating pinirmahang (The WHO earlier warned that if breaches are committed involving our signed) agreements with them through the COVAX facility, additional or future supplies of these vaccines that will be given to the Philippine government might be compromised,” Vergeire warned.
“Let us wait for our turn. Dadating po iyan. Lahat po tayo ay entitled to being vaccinated,” she added.
[Translation: Let us wait for our turn. We will have our turn. We’re all entitled to being vaccinated.]
The government is still completing the vaccination of all 1.7 million healthcare workers in the country using the limited supply of doses before moving on to other priority sectors. Mayors, governors, and village chiefs were recently moved up in the COVID-19 vaccine priority list, but they can only be inoculated after health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
READ: EXPLAINER: What you need to know about the PH COVID-19 vaccine drive