By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Yahoo News

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque suggested Monday to require getting vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for those who are getting subsidies from the government, particularly the individuals under Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).

In the second part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Talk to the People” program which aired on Tuesday morning, Roque made the suggestion after the announcement made by Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. that in the last week of May, the government is able to inoculate indigent population.

Roque added that the hesitancy to get vaccinated is still prevalent and such suggestions making vaccination as a condition for receiving cash aid is a way for the public to be encouraged to get a shot.

“Siguro pwede natin pag-aralan na isama natin sa kundisyon para sa 4Ps program ay ‘yung pagbabakuna dahil ang daming nakikinabang sa programa na ‘yan at kapag naisama sa condition na ‘yan ay maraming mababakunahan lalung lalo na sa hanay ng mga mahihirap,” Roque said, adding that the government may apply the same condition to the recipients of “future aid” from Bayanihan to Arise as One bill.

He, however, clarified that the inoculation is still voluntary and that will be a condition if they want to receive the government’s assistance.

“Kung mayroon tayong future ayuda, siguro ‘yung mga makakatanggap din ng ayuda ikakabit na natin doon sa pagbabakuna nang masigurado na mas marami sa ating mga kababayan ang mabakunahan,” he said.

“Ito naman ay boluntaryo pa rin, hindi natin sila pinipilit kumbaga magiging kundiyson kung gusto nilang makatanggap ng ayuda,” Roque added.

As of Tuesday, May 17, the Department of Health reported 1,154,388 total COVID-19 infections along with 52,291 active cases, 1,082,725 recoveries, and 19,372 mortalities.

Meanwhile, 3,001,875 Filipinos have already been vaccinated against the infectious disease, according to the data from the National Task Force against COVID-19.

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