MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the proposal to withhold a portion of the benefits received by beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is only one of several measures suggested to ramp up vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) nationwide.
This, as the government aims to achieve its target of administering 1 to 1.5 million jabs daily before the end of the year.
“Based on the latest data from the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), only 12 percent of the 4.4 million 4Ps households nationwide have been vaccinated despite the various campaigns and interventions implemented by government and the private sector, which includes town hall meetings and family development sessions, as well as incentives in the form of Bakuna Benefits (discounts for the vaccinated), Bakunado Panalo (raffle promos), as well as the use of influencers to convince more people to be vaccinated,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a news release on Tuesday.
He added that their proposal does not aim to delist or remove a 4Ps beneficiary from the program but merely to withhold a portion of the benefit – the health and nutrition grant – until such time that the individual has been vaccinated.
“The intention behind this proposal is sincere and clear — to boost the inoculation drive in order to rise above the Covid-19 nightmare and reach population protection as soon as possible. Nonetheless, we defer to the wisdom of the President (Rodrigo Duterte) if our suggested policy will be adopted or not,” Malaya said.
He, meanwhile, urged and challenge local government units (LGUs) to adopt other creative ways to change the minds of their constituents, including the 4Ps beneficiaries, from hesitancy to vaccine acceptance and willingness.
This may be in the form of new incentives such as food or rice packs, raffle bonanza for the inoculated population, and one-stop shops offering a smorgasbord of government services to include vaccination, among others.
“As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic requires concerted action and cooperation from each and every citizen. The act of one has serious effects on the rest of the populace. It is the moral and ethical obligation of every Filipino to be vaccinated for us to be able to end this pandemic. In a public health emergency, the common good must prevail,” Malaya said. (PNA)