OVP in talks for 'Jab Cab' with Manila city gov’t

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) is in talks to pilot a Jab Cab, a combination of free mobile swab testing and coronavirus vaccination, with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso for some areas in Manila.

VP Leni Robredo (Geric Cruz/Bloomberg)

Vice President Leni Robredo said the talks are in the planning stages of bringing the mobile Swab Cab and Vaccine Cab to areas in Manila where the hesitancy to get a vaccine shot is still high.

Although Moreno has done great in making sure there are vaccination sites “within walking distance” of Manila residents, “marami pa rin talaga iyong hesitant (a lot are still hesitant),” Robredo noted.

“Iyong wino-work out namin ngayon with Manila, parang, papaano namin madadala sa mga lugar na pataas pa rin iyong hesitance (What we are working on right now with Manila, it’s like, how are we going to bring it to the areas where the hesitance is still high),” she said over dzXL.

READ: https://mb.com.ph/2021/05/10/robredo-eyes-covid-19-vaccine-cab-rollout-when-supplies-are-ready/

The vice president praised Moreno for plotting the locations where there should be a vaccination site. Manila has about 19 vaccinate sites with the Manila mayor saying they can vaccinate up to 30,000 individuals per day.

With the Jab Cab, the officials hope to focus on areas that vaccination centers cannot reach.

Robredo specified public utility drivers and people with disabilities (PWDs) are those having a hard time getting themselves inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

The OVP launched the Swab Cab program in Malabon City in March to do surveillance testing and help boost the testing capabilities of local government units (LGUs) with high transmission rates. The OVP partners with LGUs to bring the Swab Cab to their areas, where barangay officials are tasked to identify who among the residents must undergo testing.

READ: https://mb.com.ph/2021/03/28/ovp-launches-free-mobile-swab-project-to-augment-covid-19-testing/

It also incentivized those who will undergo antigen testing, giving a two-week worth of food for the families of those who will test positive to COVID-19. Given that the Swab Cab offers only antigen testing, and not the gold standard for COVID-19 detection, the RT-PCR test, those who will test negative but have symptoms will still be isolated until an RT-PCR test is conducted.

Since its pilot in Malabon City, the OVP has brought the Swab Cab program to Quezon City and Imus in Cavite.

Robredo earlier opened the idea of turning her Swab Cab project into a mobile vaccination site to reach people who are hesitant to get vaccinated. She had said that if the vaccine is already there, it would be easier to convince people to get inoculated.