Año lauds healthy competition among LGUs in wooing Pinoys to get jab

Published July 2, 2021, 8:39 AM

by Chito Chavez

The seeming one-upsmanship between local government units (LGUs) in the country has done wonders to the government’s vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

(Mark Balmores/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año made this observation Friday, July 2, as he bared that a total of 33,349,000 individuals have registered at the LGU level for the purpose of getting the COVD-19 jabs.

“LGUs are innovating and seem to be outperforming each other in encouraging their constituents to get jabbed through perks and incentives such as raffle prizes of motorcycles and even a house and lot for those who have had their anti-COVID-19 doses,” Año said.

“Nakakatuwa ang mga paraan at pakulo ng mga LGUs para lang maengganyo ang lahat na magparehistro at magpabakuna (The LGUs’ ways and schemes in encouraging everyone to register for the vaccination is amusing). Only through vaccination will we reach that certain level of population protection that will allow us to transition into the new normal and completely recover from the pandemic,” he added.

Vaccine acceptance among Filipinos was low just before the roll out of the mass inoculation program last March. But this has obviously changed as seen in the increasing number of people who have enlisted for vaccination in their respective LGUs, Año said.

“Instead of vaccine hesitancy, we would prefer vaccine envy among LGUs and the public so that they would be more motivated to increase their vaccination efforts,” he noted.

The DILG chief cited the raffle scheme of Las Piñas Representative Camille Villar where vaccinated persons are given a chance to win motorcycles and a brand new house and lot.

He also lauded the initiative of Santa, Ilocos Sur Mayor Jesus Bueno Jr., who also offered a house and lot as a prize to vaccinated locals.

Meanwhile, LGUs in Abra offered drive-through vaccination, fast lanes for persons with disabilities, free antipyretics, free rides to the vaccination sites, as well as free meals and snacks to their constituents.

Down south, malls were tapped as vaccination sites in the cities of Davao and Tagum. Free transportation was provided.

“The LGUs of Puerto Princesa City, Bacolod City, Lala and Tubod in Lanao del Norte, and Binuangan, Misamis Oriental also provided free transport service to senior citizens and other vaccinees. Senior citizens who got jabbed were also given P500 each in Puerto Princesa City,” the DILG said.

“Malabon City used e-trikes as transport service vehicles for the vaccinees. The LGU of Manila provided home vaccination to bedridden citizens, while the City of Bacoor provided home vaccination to senior citizens. On the other hand, Muntinlupa City conducted vaccination to the residents of a nursing home, Rain Tree Care Services, and Senior Residences,’’ it added.

Año also cited the Quezon City government for its evening vaccinations that were designed to cater to workers who cannot afford to miss work in the morning, particularly the “no work-no-pay” personnel.

Año said the private sector through the Task Force T3’s (Test, Trace and Treat) Smart Bakuna Benefits Program have also been very helpful in scaling up the national vaccination program.

He added Task Force T3 has partnered with close to 200 private establishments to offer discounts and exclusive freebies to those who have received their anti-COVID shots.

Under the T3’s initiative, the DILG chief explained that customers just need to present their original COVID-19 vaccination card and a valid ID to participating restaurants in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus in order to avail of exclusive offers like free dishes, drink upsizes, discounts, or a “buy one get one” promo.