Robredo: Incentives needed to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations


Vice President Leni Robredo said Friday that the government should provide people with incentives to encourage them to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and thus speed up the country's vaccination pace.

Robredo made the response when asked if she was in favor of implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the eligible population.

"Instead of penalizing, I am for incentivizing," Robredo said in a press conference in Negros Occidental where her office and the local government inked an agreement to boost the province's medical assistance program for indigent and vulnerable patients.

Robredo explained that her position was based on her office's previous experience with the Swab Cab, a free COVID-19 mobile testing service for areas with high COVID-19 transmissions.

They discovered during the Swab Cab program that people refused to get tested over fears of a positive result and losing income during the two-week quarantine period.


"So what we did with our partners is we provided rice for those who will get tested. For those who tested positive, we gave their families two weeks of food supply. I am really for incentives because we must understand where their refusal is coming from," said Robredo.

The government's incentives for fully vaccinated individuals so far included permission to dine indoors and enter cinemas and other indoor places of entertainment.

President Rodrigo Duterte was dismayed with those who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying local government units should exert more effort in increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage in their respective areas.

The Philippines had reached its target of vaccinating over a million doses in a day last November 4, though fully vaccinated Filipinos stood at 28.7 million.

The government aimed to fully vaccinate 80% of its 109 million population by May 9, 2022 to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. — DVM, GMA News