Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the government to offer incentives to encourage people to vaccinate against COVID-19 instead of threatening them with punishment as the government pushes Filipinos to get vaccinated.
Robredo said positive reinforcement will encourage more Filipinos to get jabbed, reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte's threat that unvaccinated people face arrest if they leave their homes.
"Hindi krimen yung [hindi] pagbabakuna. Pero kailangan nagbibigay tayo ng incentive para magpabakuna yung mga tao," the vice president said in her weekly radio program.
"Para sa akin, kailangan lang pinag-iisipan. Hindi yung punitive na kaagad ang iniisip na kapag hindi ka nagpabakuna, huhulihin ka. Mas mabuti sana kung mas positive na kapag nagbakuna ka ganito yung mae-enjoy mong privileges," Robredo said.
On Saturday, the Philippines recorded a new high in daily COVID-19 cases as reported over 26,000 new infections. Authorities believe the current surge is driven by Omicron.
With a new surge in COVID-19 cases, Health Sec. Francisco Duque floated the possibility of Alert Level 4 in Metro Manila, which means businesses operate at as little as 10% capacity and movement is limited to essentials.
As of Dec. 31, 2021, around 49.8 million individuals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with over 108 million doses administered to more than 61 million Filipinos nationwide, according to the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
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