Hontiveros opposes Roque's call to require COVID-19 shots for 4Ps beneficiaries

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — A lawmaker is against requiring COVID-19 vaccination for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries claiming their cash aid.

Hindi dapat ginagawang suhol ang mga bakunang dapat naman talaga ay libre at pangmalawakan. Hindi dapat pinagbabantaan ang madla,” said Sen. Risa Hontiveros in a statement on Wednesday.

[Translation: Vaccines that should be free and widely available to begin with shouldn’t be used as bribes. The people should not be threatened like this.]

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier proposed including inoculation against the contagious disease among the conditions for 4Ps recipients prior to getting their financial assistance.


He said if that will be made a condition, more people will get vaccinated especially among the poor.

Roque made the suggestion in relation to vaccine hesitancy, noting how this is a major challenge for their communication efforts regarding vaccination. He also pointed to Duterte's call for the vaccination of uniformed personnel and poor families as soon as possible.

Indigent individuals belong to the A5 priority sector in the national vaccination program.

Kaunting galang at respeto naman sa mga mahihirap. Walang kundisyon sa 4Ps law na kailangan vaccinated ang recipients,” reiterated Hontiveros.

[Translation: Please give the poor a bit of respect. The 4Ps law does not state as a condition that recipients must be vaccinated.]

She also lamented how many others were prioritized and were put atop of vaccinee lists despite previous statements on the poor being a priority in the government’s vaccine drive.

Roque said his suggestion may also apply to future provision of financial assistance, mentioning the proposed Bayanihan 3 aid program.

He emphasized that vaccination will remain voluntary, but will be made a condition to receive aid.