Photo courtesy of the NCMF

Ulama to be tapped on Covid-19 vaccination information drive

The Ulama or Islamic scholars in the country will be tapped to help in the information drive of the government to promote Covid-19 vaccination.
In a statement, Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), said it held a consultation with various Ulama and Imams regarding the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out wherein the said vaccine will arrive in the Philippines soon.

Pangarungan said the Department of Health (DOH) has requested the various faith-based groups in the country to assist in the national government’s efforts to promote and explain the Covid-19 vaccines.

“Its usage will not eliminate the risk of contracting the virus, but it will lessen the chances of developing complications, to include death,” he said.

The NCMF head added, “Muslim Filipino communities will be informed by the religious leaders to follow the advice given by health experts and government authorities.”

According to Pangarungan, the DOH had offered to organize Town Hall Meetings, wherein DOH experts, NCMF officials, and representatives from the Ulama sector will be available to speak with the public in person or online.

He added Muslim community and religious leaders may discuss the matter during Friday Prayer in masjids.

“At present, the vaccines are yet to be examined by the Halal Certifying Bodies (HCBs) in the Philippines,” he said.

Pangarunagn said the NCMF and the Ulama sector support President Rodrigo Duterte and the DOH in the government’s campaign to proactively fight Covid-19 through vaccination and increased public awareness.

Senator Imee Marcos has called on the government to assure that Covid-19 vaccines is halal or permissible to millions of Muslim Filipinos.

"Being mindful of religious and cultural beliefs will prevent losses in government spending and encourage vaccination," Marcos said in a press release last January 17, 2021.