Tolentino to DSWD: Find ways to convince 4Ps recipients to get vaccinated

Published November 23, 2021, 4:57 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino on Tuesday, Nov, 23 called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to find ways to convince recipients of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) to get inoculated against COVID-19.

During a Senate deliberation on the proposed budget of the DSWD for 2022, Tolentino stressed that he does not agree with the earlier pronouncement by Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano that 4Ps beneficiaries must be vaccinated first before they could get their monthly financial assistance from the government.

“It’s probably a show of exasperation and disappointment on the part of the good secretary,” said Tolentino, adding that based on information, only around 16 percent of 4Ps beneficiaries have been vaccinated.

The figure was later confirmed by Senator Imee Marcos, the sponsor of the DSWD budget. Marcos chairs the Senate Economic Affairs committee.

While he is disappointed with the low vaccination rate among 4Ps beneficiaries, Tolentino said DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista should think of more innovative and creative methods on how to convince them to get inoculated.

“He can give some incentives or he can tie-up with the Secretary of Health. Perhaps this can all be linked and produce a more meaningful vaccination program. That is really the order of the day to enable our economy to open, and I believe General Bautista can do this,” said Tolentino.

Marcos, for her part, welcomed Tolentino’s suggestion, saying that the government must provide more information, access to scientific knowledge as well as access to the vaccines to be able to convince 4Ps recipients to get vaccinated against COVID-19.