The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is hopeful the government’s vaccination program will help the recovery of the economy.

Felix Taguiam, CCCI president, said the chamber was supportive of the vaccination rollout and described it as “crucial” to the country’s turnaround.

“We all should get the vaccine, whether we like it or not. We need to protect ourselves,” Taguiam said.

Taguiam said some people might not want to get vaccinated, but it would be a “need” for everyone to “move forward.”

“We can’t stop anymore. The word lockdown is already allergic to us businesses,” he said. “It’s costing us money.”

The most affected by the pandemic are those in retail and trade, he added.

Taguiam said that while most businesses had resumed operations, sales were still down because of the public’s fear of going out.

The CCCI has advised its members to set aside funds for their employees’ vaccination to support the government’s program.

Nannette Arbon, Department of Trade and Industry Central Visayas director, encouraged the public, especially those in business, to be vaccinated.

Arbon said people should not be swayed with “misconceptions” and should not be fearful, and instead should consider the vaccines’ efficacy.

“We need to get vaccinated so we can get on with our lives so we enjoy the better normal,” Arbon said.

Maria Sostheleen Padilla, officer in charge of the National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas, said the government’s inoculation program was “critical” in enhancing consumer confidence to restore the economy.

“What we need to restore now is confidence in consumption. We need to move both sides, the supply and demand side, to pick up. And vaccination is what we need to improve confidence,” Padilla said.

The national government has committed to spend P75 billion for Covid-19 vaccines for about 60 million Filipinos.

The first batch of 117,000 Pfizer vaccines will arrive later this month. Another five to nine million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive by the second quarter of this year. Ryan Sorote