Senator Christopher “Bong” Go renewed his call for the government to provide cash incentives to vaccinated Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries instead of making immunization mandatory to encourage more of them to receive their Covid-19 shots.

Such benefits will be in addition to what 4Ps recipients are entitled to under the law.

Go stated that no one should be left behind on the country’s road to recovery, particularly impoverished Filipinos who are vulnerable to the pandemic’s economic effects.

“Hindi puwedeng may maiwan sa ating muling pagbangon. Lalo na ‘yung pinaka mahihirap at pinaka-nangangailangan.”

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), approximately only 16 percent of the 4.17 million active 4Ps beneficiaries have been vaccinated as of 29 October. The agency is proposing to provide P3,000 post-vaccination health support to the beneficiaries to encourage them to get vaccinated.

A P12.2 billion budget is needed to implement the program.

“Hindi katanggap tanggap na 16 percent lang ang bakunado na 4Ps. Bagama’t ‘di natin sila mapilit, ‘wag tayong tumigil sa pag-enganyo sa kanila.”

“Sa dagdag ayuda bilang insentibo, matulungan na natin sila sa kabuhayan, makapagligtas pa ng buhay, mapabilis ang pagbalik sa normal na pamumuhay.”

Meanwhile, Go asked the government to ensure that the vaccines also reach rural areas and poor Filipinos reliant on government assistance.

Earlier, Go expressed objection to the proposed ‘no vaccine, no subsidy’ policy, saying that it is unfair and that no one should be forced to get vaccinated just to get government assistance.

Go argued that every individual has the right to take or refuse immunization. He did say, though, that the government should continue to offer incentives to encourage people to obtain their shots.