Solon pushes for passage of ‘Ayuda sa Bakuna’ bill

A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Wednesday pushed for a measure that would provide a one-time PHP15,000 cash assistance for fully-vaccinated Filipino families to boost the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program.

In filing House Bill 10644, Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said the proposal would not only help alleviate the sufferings of Filipinos in this two-year pandemic but also solve the problem by encouraging science-backed vaccination and accelerating the achievement of herd immunity.

The bill seeks to introduce the cash assistance program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), on top of the agency’s ongoing social amelioration program.

“It prioritizes the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable sectors of our communities,” Vargas said. “These include senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and persons with comorbidities.”

He said the program would cover all eligible Filipino families, so long as living and qualified members have complied with the government’s prescribed vaccination program.

In the bill’s explanatory note, Vargas said stronger social safety nets must be put in place to support multiple marginalized sectors and protect them from poverty.

He said the proposed “Ayuda sa Bakuna” program would help reduce vaccine hesitancy, which continues to hamper the government’s efforts to control the pandemic.

“Vaccines save lives. Our nation’s strong vaccination drive has already shown that. Our ‘Ayuda sa Bakuna’ 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. We need to make sure that no one gets left behind,” Vargas said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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