MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato: Large business establishments in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, simultaneously posted tarpaulins last Friday, indicating that customers must present their vaccination cards upon entry.

This was done in support of the city government's vaccination campaign against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista himself led the posting of the notices along with the city monitoring and compliance team.

Business establishments that posted the tarpaulins, which read,"Please present your vaccination card," included Citi Hardware on the national highway, Gaisano Grand Mall in Lanao village, Land Bank of the Philippines-Kidapawan Branch (LandBank) and Mega Market of Kidapawan.

The policy was also meant to help protect the health and safety of the workforce, according to the owners of the establishments.

In addition to the presentation of vaccination cards upon entry, customers needed also to present their Cotabato Contact Tracing System (CCTS) quick response code.

In case the customers could not present any vaccination card, City Hardware and LandBank required them to write essential information on a logbook.

However, Gaisano Grand Mall Kidapawan required a negative result from a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test before allowing a customer, who could not present a vaccination card, to enter the establishment.

Evangelista clarified that the policies laid down by the establishments did not discriminate, but rather, ensured the safety of business patrons, the staff and the general public.

"We would want to ensure the safety of the public. That is why we are implementing this policy, which would protect many people," Evangelista said.

The mayor noted that there were only three remaining active Covid-19 cases in Kidapawan City.

"This is the result of everyone's cooperation and observance of minimum health standards," Evangelista added.

He also said he expected other business establishments to follow suit in implementing the policy in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the mayor said he was confident that the city would reach the 70-percent herd immunity against Covid-19 by January 2022.

In an emergency meeting of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Evangelista also added that 102,000 out of the targeted 110,000 individuals had already been given their first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The city government fast-tracked its inoculation campaign, especially now that the Department of Health had provided the city with more vaccines.

Evangelista continued that the city government would start giving of booster shots for those in the A2 or senior citizen category by next week.

After completing booster shots for the elderly, the city would proceed giving to adults with comorbidities, essential workers and indigent individuals.

The city was in the process of finishing the vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 under the pediatric vaccination group.

However, the inoculation campaign would be temporarily halted from Dec. 23, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022 in order to give time for medical frontliners and vaccination teams to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays with their families.

Evangelista encouraged residents to get jabbed as soon as possible, especially since there was the threat of infection from the Omicron variant, which came from South Africa and might enter the country.