“HOW about Ayuda sa Bakuna?”
This was proposed by House Committee on Social Services chairman Quezon City Representative Alfred Vargas to encourage more Filipinos to get COVID vaccines.
Vargas filed a measure that provides a one-time P15,000 cash assistance to a family who had completed their vaccines.
House Bill 10644 seeks to introduce the cash assistance program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), on top of the agency’s ongoing social amelioration activities.
“This measure not only alleviates the sufferings of our fellow Filipinos in this two-year global pandemic, it also helps solve the problem by encouraging science-backed vaccination and accelerating our achievement of herd immunity,” he said.
“It prioritizes the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable sectors of our communities. These include senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and persons with comorbidities. The program will, however, cover all eligible Filipino families, as long as living and qualified members have complied with the government’s prescribed vaccination program,” he added.
Currently, there is a growing threat of the Omicron variant in the Philippines.
The “Ayuda sa Bakuna” program, likewise, helps reduce vaccine hesitancy, which continues to hamper the government’s efforts to control COVID-19.
The national government failed to meet its target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of 2021, but officials expressed confidence that they will meet their goal within January.
In December, the Department of Health (DOH) identified five regions with low vaccination rates. These are Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 4A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).