Panay groups hit 'no vaccination, no 4Ps subsidy' scheme | Inquirer News
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Panay groups hit ‘no vaccination, no 4Ps subsidy’ scheme

/ 12:22 PM November 21, 2021

ILOILO CITY — Progressive organizations on Panay Island have decried the planned move of the national government to withhold subsidies for beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program, or 4Ps, who fail to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“This planned move is a blatant violation of people’s rights,” Reylan Vergara, secretary general of Panay Alliance Karapatan, said in a statement.

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He pointed out that there is no law mandating compulsory COVID-19 vaccination.

Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), earlier said in an interview with dzBB radio that many of the 4 million 4Ps beneficiaries were not vaccinated, including those who refused to be inoculated.

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The 4Ps provides regular cash conditional grants to indigent families aimed at improving health, nutrition and support the education of their children up to 18 years old.

The DILG was planning to include COVID-19 vaccination as among the conditions for the release of the subsidies.

Vergara said the apprehensions of those who refused to be vaccinated should not be addressed by compulsory vaccination but by continued information and education drive to show the benefits and risks of being vaccinated.

“We continue to demand that vaccination should be voluntary, free and safe for the people,” he said.

In a separate statement, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Aklan said the DILG plan should be “strongly opposed.”

“Denying the people of benefits, jobs, wages, education and other social services to force them to get vaccinated is a monstrous violation of the constitutional, socio-economic and cultural rights of Filipinos,” said Kim-Sin Tugna, Bayan-Aklan spokesperson in a separate statement.

Tugna said the move was a “blackmail” amid what he said was the “blatant failure of the Duterte government to effectively address the pandemic.”

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TAGS: beneficiaries, COVID-19, no vaccination no 4Ps subsidy, Panay, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Regions, subsidies, Vaccination
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