Vice President Leni Robredo believes that incentivizing those who will get their coronavirus jabs will further boost the country’s vaccination drive.
Robredo, an opposition leader, said it is up to the local government units (LGUs) and the national government how to incentivize Filipinos.
“So, iyong (the) incentive can come in many different forms eh. Nasa LGU naman iyan o nasa national government kung anong klase (It depends on the LGU or national government what kind of incentives),” she said over dzXL.
Robredo was reacting to reports that the Las Piñas city government is raffling off a house and lot, motorcycles, and a livelihood showcase worth P5,000 for 50 winners every month starting July.
The incentive program, called “May Bahay sa Bakuna: Bakunado Ka Na, May Bahay Ka Pa,” is open to all residents of the city who will get their COVID-19 jabs. It was initiated by Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar, a scion of the real estate empire of former Senator Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar.
“Sa experience namin nakakatulong hindi lang sa vaccination kundi sa swabbing. Nakakatulong na ini-incentivize mo iyong tao (In our experience, the incentives work not only in vaccination, but in swabbing. It helps to incentivize the people),” Robredo said.
The vice president added that the government can impose a no-quarantine policy for those who have already been vaccinated. This is similar to the “green zone” that the Department of Tourism (DOT) is proposing for travelers who are already vaccinated.
Robredo noted that in the United States, the federal government has a similar program. It started with free coffee, then free donuts, then free train rides. Today, the government’s incentive to the people is to allow them not to wear a face mask when they are outdoors.
She is no stranger to the idea of incentivizing Filipinos. When she launched her Swab Cab free mobile antigen testing program, nobody wanted to be tested because they fear that testing positive will mean they cannot go out and work for their families.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) then started incentivizing with kilos of rice the individuals who will get swabbed. For those who will test positive, the OVP provided two weeks' worth of food packs for their families.