A bill seeking to provide a one-time cash aid of P15,000 per family whose members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has been filed at the House of Representatives.
Quezon City representative Alfred Vargas on Wednesday announced that he filed House Bill 10644, which seeks to introduce the cash assistance program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Vargas noted that the amount will be on top of the agency’s ongoing social amelioration activities.
“This measure not only alleviates the suffering of our fellow Filipinos in this two-year global pandemic, it also helps solve the problem by encouraging science-backed vaccination and accelerating our achievement of herd immunity,” he said.
The proposed assistance will cover all eligible Filipino families ”as long as living and qualified members have complied with the government’s prescribed vaccination program,” Vargas said.
“Vaccines save lives. Our nation’s strong vaccination drive has already shown that. Our program reflects the Filipino people’s values of bayanihan and damayan: to defeat COVID-19 and take back our normal lives from this virus, we need to help each other,” he said.
Vargas stated in the bill’s explanatory note that stronger social safety nets must be put in place to support and protect multiple marginalized sectors from poverty.
He believes his proposed program will help reduce vaccine hesitancy, which continues to hamper the government’s efforts to control Covid-19.
The national government fell short of its goal of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of 2021, but officials are optimistic that they will meet it by January.
The Department of Health (DoH) identified five regions with low vaccination rates in December 2021. These are Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 4A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), 6, 7, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.