Citizens Demanding Vaccine Accountability: Highlights of G-Watch’s 2021 Ako, Ikaw, Tayo, May Pananagutan

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On February 14 to 16, 2021, G-Watch’s annual event—Ako, Ikaw, Tayo, May Pananagutan (AIM-P)—took on an unlikely theme: ‘Love and Accountability at the Time of a Pandemic.’ The theme jumps off from the idea that the best way to love during a pandemic is to hold power to account.

Ten sites in the Philippines held simultaneous events, both physical and online, which were attended by representatives from local government, youth groups, and civil society organizations, as well as citizens - in Marawi; Bacolod; Dumaguete; San Miguel, Bohol; Sibagat, Agusan del Sur; Quezon City; Puerto Princesa; Cebu City; Maasin, Southern Leyte; and Tacloban. Majority of the events were held on Valentines’ Day.

This report presents the highlights of the simultaneous events, particularly the key themes that emerged from the assessment and reflection, which are as follows:

  • The interfacing of the national and local governments would be key to the success of the vaccination program.
  • The upcoming 2022 elections can be an accountability platform for the government’s performance in responding to the pandemic.
  • Despite the pandemic, citizens and citizen groups have adapted to continue demanding responsive governance and exacting accountability from the government.
  • The youth are leading the call for accountability in COVID-19 response.
  • The call for accountability in the vaccination program mobilizes multi-sectoral action.