Go supports move to provide more incentives, allow greater mobility for fully vaccinated individuals

Go supports move to provide more incentives, allow greater mobility for fully vaccinated individuals

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reiterated his
appeal to government authorities to study the possibility of providing
incentives to fully vaccinated individuals in order to encourage more
Filipinos, especially those still hesitant, to get their COVID-19
shots.

As the vaccines become more available, Go called on the government and
private sector to come up with unique and innovative ways to
incentivize people to help the country achieve population protection
leading to herd immunity at the soonest possible time.

“Pag-aralan dapat natin nang mabuti ang pagbibigay ng insentibo sa mga
bakunado, tulad ng mas maluwag na mga patakaran. Maaaring pwede sila
kumain at pumasyal sa labas, makapagtrabaho at makagalaw nang walang
restrictions para ma-enganyo at tumaas ang vaccine confidence,”
suggested Go.

“Sa ibang bansa nga, pwede nang manood ang mga bakunado ng basketball,
katulad sa ginagawa sa NBA sa US. Kung mas marami na ang
nababakunahan, mas magiging normal na ang ating pamumuhay,” the
Senator further explained.

Go also expressed support to the proposal of the mayors in the
National Capital Region to relax some of the COVID-19 guidelines for
fully vaccinated individuals.

On Thursday, September 9, the Metro Manila Council of the Metro Manila
Development Authority issued an appeal urging the Inter-Agency Task
Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to ease the COVID-19 Guidelines
for those fully vaccinated subject to further study and consultation.

Support for a similar initiative has also been provided by
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development
Authority head Karl Chua who, during a Senate hearing on the same day,
expressed support for the “Bakuna Bubble” pilot in NCR.

From March 22 to April 4, the government, through the IATF, had put up
a bubble in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
Authorized individuals were permitted to travel into and out of
certain places under this arrangement. While more limitations were in
place to manage mobility in these areas, most businesses continued to
operate.

“Malaki parte ng ating ekonomiya ang National Capital Region. Kung
ma-relax natin konti ang mga travel restrictions at ibang protocols
para sa bakunado na, inaasahan natin na mas maraming sektor ng
ekonomiya ang mabubuksan. Mas maraming mga kababayan natin ang
makapaghanapbuhay muli at makabalik sa kani-kanilang mga trabaho.
Ibig sabihin, mas maraming pamilya ang makabangon mula sa hirap na
dulot ng pandemya,” Go explained.

“Subalit dahan-dahan nating gawin ito. Huwag nating biglaing buksan
lahat kaagad, baka naman tumaas ang bilang ng mga kaso at mahihirapan
na naman ang ating healthcare system. Ayaw nating mag-back to zero na
naman tayo. Kaya maingat lang dapat nating balansehin ang buhay at
kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino,” Go cautioned.

The Senator also expressed his appreciation to various private
business entities for coming with creative incentive schemes, such as
discounts and provision of freebies, for fully vaccinated individuals.

“Maraming salamat sa mga pribadong kumpanya sa mga pa-discounts at
freebies ninyo para sa bakunadong kababayan natin. Malaking bagay ito
para ma-engganyo natin ang mas maraming Pilipino ang magpabakuna,” Go
said.

Also, Go earlier expressed support for the Union of Local Authorities
of the Philippines’ request to expand their vaccination rollout.

In a letter addressed to the National Task Force on COVID-19, ULAP,
led by Quirino Governor and ULAP President Dakila Cua, recommended
that local government units be allowed to extend the vaccines to their
constituents without being limited by the prioritization scheme while
maintaining the prioritization of selected groups to reduce morbidity
and mortality and protect those who bear significant risks.

“Nabasa ko rin po ang sulat ng ating mga governors, requesting na
buksan po ‘yung pagbabakuna sa general public dahil marami naman po
ang mga gustong magpabakuna sa ngayon,” he said.

“And, I am sure, binabalanse po ng ating national task force, ng IATF
(Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious
Diseases)”, and ‘yung NITAG (National Immunization Technical Advisory
Group), sila po ang mag-aapruba nito,” he added, also noting that
vaccine confidence in the country has improved.

Meanwhile, Go reiterated his appeal for qualified and unvaccinated
Filipinos to get their respective COVID-19 shots. He pointed out that
studies show fully vaccinated individuals have a hugely decreased risk
of infection and developing severe illness from COVID-19 and thus
should be allowed to engage in select pre-pandemic activities for as
long as basic health protocols are still followed, like wearing of
mask and face shield and observing social distancing.

The country has so far administered nearly 37.2 million doses of
COVID-19 vaccines, as of September 8. Out of these, 21.3 million
individuals have received their first dose, while another 15.8 million
have received their second dose of the vaccines.

“Sa ngayon po, naging maganda po ang vaccine confidence na tumataas
na. Kahit na noong umiikot ako, tinatanong ko sila noong unang panahon
10% lang po ang nagtataas ng kamay, ngayon po halos kalahati na po
dahil nakikita nila na protektado sila sa bakuna, lalong-lalo na po
ngayon na merong Delta variant na napakabilis ng transmission four
times more contagious po ito,” Go noted.

“Ito pong bubble system, mas magiging successful ito kapag mas marami
na ang bakunado. Kaya katulad ng pakiusap ko sa mga kapwa ko Pilipino,
kung eligible na kayo, ‘wag kayo matakot at magpabakuna na kayo. Mas
maraming bakunado, mas ligtas ang ating mga pamilya at komunidad,” he
explained. (ai/mtvn)

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