‘No subsidy for unvaxxed 4Ps beneficiaries’

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
âNo subsidy for unvaxxed 4Ps beneficiariesâ
A health worker prepares a vial of Chinese Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 inside a movie theatre turned into a vaccination center in Taguig City suburban Manila on June 14, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Beneficiaries of the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) who are hesitant to take COVID-19 jabs could soon be forced to get vaccinated or risk losing their subsidy from the government.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), according to its spokesman Jonathan Malaya, wants unvaccinated beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program “disincentivize” if they continue to resist taking jabs.

Malaya said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has also proposed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the implementation of a “no vaccine, no subsidy” policy after receiving reports from local chief executives that numerous 4Ps beneficiaries continue to shun COVID-19 vaccines.

“If they refuse to get vaccinated, they cannot get any subsidy,” he said over radio dzBB.

The government is ramping up its vaccination drive to achieve population protection and bring the country back to normalcy after nearly two years of quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19.

While there could be legal issues, Malaya believes the DILG’s proposal has basis under the conditional cash transfer program’s health components as the country is dealing with a public health emergency.

“It’s precisely why 4Ps are called ‘conditional transfer’ – there are conditions before you get your regular subsidy from the government,” he said in Filipino.

Malaya said the government is also eyeing a COVID-19 vaccination day wherein workers who are not allowed by their employers to go on leave are excused from their jobs so that they could be inoculated.

Another scheme is to bring the vaccines to far-flung places so that vaccine doses can be more accessible to the public. Some mayors are also offering incentives to their constituents such as cash and rice to convince them to get the jabs.

Malaya said among the regions with low vaccination rates are Bicol and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.



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