Those unvaccinated beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) need not to worry.
This after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured the public Friday, Nov. 12, that the Pantawid Pamilya “beneficiaries will still receive grants and subsidies from 4Ps even without vaccination.”
“Likewise, unvaccinated 4Ps beneficiaries will not be excluded from the program, as the requirement of getting the jab is not yet covered by the 4Ps law or any other legislations,” it said in a statement on Friday.
The DSWD explained that currently, it has “no legal basis” in implementing the proposed inclusion of COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement to receive the conditional cash transfers under 4Ps.
It noted that pro-poor program was institutionalized through the passage of Republic Act No. 11310 or the 4Ps Act of 2019.
“The Department believes that in order to implement the proposed change or inclusion of other conditionalities, the law has to be amended.”
The DSWD said among the conditionalities that must be met by the household-beneficiaries before receiving the subsidy are sending 4Ps beneficiaries’ school-aged children to school, pre- and post-natal care for mothers, regular and preventive check-ups for children aged five and below, deworming for children aged 14 and below, and attendance to the monthly conduct of Family Development Session (FDS).
Vaccination remains voluntary
“However, in an effort to support the Philippine government’s vaccination program, the Department continues to conduct information campaigns to encourage its beneficiaries to get inoculated but maintains that vaccination remains voluntary and based on informed decision of the vaccine recipients,” it said.
It said it continued coordinating with and assisting the Department of Health (DOH) in cascading the necessary and relevant information regarding the government’s inoculation program.
The DSWD noted that the 4Ps-National Program Management Office and the DOH teamed up in conducting round table discussions with 4Ps beneficiaries and parent leaders to guide them in arriving at their informed decisions about the vaccination.
It cited that based on the survey conducted by DOH in July, 4Ps beneficiaries and parent leaders perceived COVID-19 vaccines as safe and efficacious.
“The same data noted that the 4Ps beneficiaries are eager to get vaccinated, however, they are concerned about the access to the vaccine due to the limited supply, limited internet access for online registration, lack of transportation and missing a day of work causing loss of income among the daily wage earners.”
The DSWD conducted a rapid assessment among 11,179 4Ps beneficiaries across the country from Aug. 16 to Oct. 1, 2021, using a non-probability sampling method.
It was surmised that 40 percent of the assessed beneficiaries were willing to get inoculated, while only 4.2 percent of the total number of respondents were unwilling.
Over 500K 4Ps grantees already vaccinated vs COVID-19
“As of October 30, more than 500,000 grantees or more than 13 percent of the 4Ps total population were already vaccinated against COVID-19,” the DSWD said.
The Social Welfare department said it is one with the government in its efforts to facilitate more consistent and stronger community-based information campaigns that will help meet the goal of mass vaccination for population protection.
It said through FDS, beneficiaries are regularly apprised of importance of COVID-19 vaccination and its benefits.
The DSWD said it will continue working closely with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and DOH, being members of the 4Ps National Advisory Council, to address concerns on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination in collaboration with the local government units (LGUs).