MANILA - Government should take a "hardhanded approach" to Filipinos who don't want to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines amid the spread of the more virulent Delta variant, a presidential adviser said Tuesday.
Some 80 percent to 90 percent of the population of Metro Manila and of the whole nation must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity with the recent spread of the Delta variant, said presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.
"If you can see the hospitals, 85 percent of most hospitals, people going there are unvaccinated so there’s a strong argument for a hardhanded approach for the unvaccinated who just don’t want to take it," he told ANC's Headstart.
"If we’re able to solve that problem - get the nation (vaccinated) at 80, 90 percent then there will be no reasons we will have lockdowns then economy will start to move much better."
Concepcion cited other countries such as Singapore and the US for giving incentives to fully vaccinated persons.
"This is going to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated if these people don’t take their vaccines," he said.
Several cities in Metro Manila had experienced overcrowding in vaccination sites after disinformation spread on social media that they were accepting walk-ins and that unvaccinated persons would be unable to receive cash aid or be prohibited from going outdoors during the strict lockdown.
The 2-week enhanced community quarantine this month will make way for a "very robust" fourth quarter, Concepcion said.
"We have a better chance of saving the 4th quarter. Imagine a lockdown during Christmas, all the consumer spending frozen, not to say even the election spending will also start," he said.
"We're looking at a very robust 4th quarter and what will Filipinos feel during Christmas being locked down? Moving to 2022, they’ll not have much hope for them."
The Philippine economy emerged from recession after its gross domestic product grew by 11.8 percent in the second quarter, the state statistics bureau said.
The figure is higher compared to the revised 3.9 percent contraction in the first quarter and the 8.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2020 which reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.