Moreno praises Duterte admin’s mass vaccination drive, cites its need for further tourism recovery

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 5) — Manila City Mayor and presidential aspirant Isko Moreno lauded the recently concluded national vaccination drive, describing it as the best initiative done by the Duterte administration during the pandemic.

In a visit to Cebu City on Sunday, Moreno said such efforts to increase vaccination can help reduce coronavirus fears and revive the tourism sector, one of the province's vital industries.

“Ito ‘yung pinakamagandang portion na ginagawa ng national government [This is the best portion being done by the national government]... This will matter to the tourism industry,” the mayor told workers of the Cebu Safari in Carmen town.

According to the Department of Health, around 9.9 million vaccine doses were administered during the national vaccination days. The program was initially scheduled to run for only three days, or from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, but was extended until Dec. 3.

A second round of the initiative will be done from Dec. 15 to 17.

Earlier this year, tension between Moreno and Duterte brewed after the President hit a “disorganized” Metro Manila mayor over cash aid distribution issues. Duterte didn’t name the official but gave away clues, which seemingly pointed to Moreno.

Later, Moreno also seemingly alluded to the President when he said "somebody's" statements triggered thousands of Manila residents to panic and to flock inoculation sites for fear they will not be allowed to go out or get their cash aid if they are not vaccinated.

Moreno will visit Lapu-Lapu City on Monday and will later go back to Cebu City to meet with campaign volunteers.

This is the third time Moreno has made the rounds in Cebu, fueling speculations that Governor Gwen Garcia will endorse his election bid. Garcia’s One Cebu Party has not yet endorsed a presidential candidate for the 2022 polls.

Cebu-based CNN Philippines Correspondent Dale Israel contributed to this report.