MANILA, Philippines — A number of local government units (LGUs) turned to “gimmicks,” including providing incentives like rice, groceries and even cash in a bid to convince more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
This was revealed by the Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday as she encouraged the LGUs to adopt similar practices to promote the anti-COVID vaccines.
“Actually nakita natin itong mga efforts na ito (we saw these efforts), incentives being given by our local governments to those who wish or will have themselves vaccinated,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.
“Nandiyan na yung pagbibigay ng bigas, nandiyan ang pagbibigay ng groceries, yung iba nagbibigay ng singkwenta pesos kada tao na magpabakuna — iba’t ibang gimik, para sila po ay mahikayat na magpabakuna,” she also said.
(There’s the giving of free rice, groceries and even P50.00 cash for those who will get vaccinated — all sorts of gimmicks to encourage them to be vaccinated.)
Vergeire encouraged the LGUs to continue doing such kind of promotion, which she called “effective,” while hoping other cities and municipalities with low vaccination turnout to follow suit.
“We encourage our local governments to continue doing this,” she said. “Hindi po natin ito kailangan itigil dahil sa tingin po namin ito ay epektibo.”
(There is no need to stop this because we think it’s effective.)
“This is a good practice and hopefully other LGUs will be following or doing this kind of incentivization for our public so they can be encouraged to have more vaccines,” she further said.
The DOH official said over 19.7 million Filipinos got their first booster accounting for 25 percent of all the eligible population.
“We will try to achieve 30 percent by October 8,” she added, noting that the government is still five percent short of their target equivalent to 3.6 million eligible vaccinees.