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VACCINATION NOT NEEDED TO GET AID – VILLANUEVA

Any proposal to write into the 2022 national budget a provision making COVID-19 vaccination a requisite for receiving DSWD aid such the 4Ps stipend will penalize the “jabless jobless,” Senator Joel Villanueva said.

“Kung mayroon man pong ganoon na panukala, I think it will be dead on arrival in the Senate,” said Villanueva, chairman of the Senate labor committee.

“At this time, vaccination status should not be a factor in the grant or denial of state services to those who needed them most,” the veteran legislator stressed.

The seasoned lawmaker said it is still premature to impose “a vaccination mandate on welfare recipients” when the Philippines has yet “to reach the midpoint of our target number of citizens to be vaccinated.”

“Kung kulang pa rin po ang bakuna at hindi pa po ito nakakaabot sa lahat, then we should not deny dole outs to vaccine holdouts.”

“Kung kulang pa rin po ang bakuna at hindi pa po ito nakakaabot sa lahat, then we should not deny dole outs to vaccine holdouts,” the veteran lawmaker stressed.

According to DOH’s tally of COVID-19 jabs as of Nov. 6, a total of 32,402,150 have already received the first dose while 29,331,626 have gotten the second.

The fully vaccinated accounts for only 38.3% of the 76 million target individuals who constitute 70% of the total population.

“Kung isasama pa po ang 12 to 17 age group, mas malaki ang populasyon na dapat mabigyan ng bakuna, at malayo pa nating maabot ito,” the senator said.

He believes that vaccination remains a “supply and accessibility issue” more than a problem of “willful resistance”.

“Yung mga kababayan po natin na nasa socio-economic class E na mga kliyente ng DSWD ay nasa probinsya, o homeless, o kaya walang digital device o know-how on how to register online for vaccination shots,” Villanueva said.

“I urge DSWD to use community peer pressure by tapping vaccinated 4Ps members in convincing their neighbors to drop their vaccine hesitancy.”

He urged DSWD to use “community peer pressure” by tapping vaccinated 4Ps members in convincing their neighbors to drop their vaccine hesitancy.

“DSWD clients are organized. These are the ‘social platforms’ that are the best conduits of pro-vaccine information,” Villanueva said.

He also called on DSWD to use its communications, advertising and printing budget of about P355 million for 2022 to fund an “education and information” campaign that will address concerns of “people under their sphere of influence”.

For 2022, the DSWD is asking for P115.67 billion to fund the 4Ps program with a target 4.4 million household beneficiaries.

It will also serve 3,835,066 seniors under the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens program that has a proposed budget of P23.5 billion.

Among the programs lined up for 20202 are the Supplemental Feed Program for Children (P4.16 billion); Sustainable Livelihood Program (P4.86 billion); KALAHI-CIDSS (P11.1 billion); Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Program (P2 billion); and Services for Center-Based Clients (P2 billion).

The DSWD has a proposed budget of P191.4 billion for 2022, up by P14.6 billion from the current P176.8 billion.

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