Trade chief seeks incentives for those fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2021 03:48 PM | Updated as of Jun 07 2021 04:31 PM

Workers receive their first Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shot in a 'symbolic' vaccination at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on June 7, 2021, marking the start of vaccination of people under the A4 category. The vaccination of 'economic frontliners' aims to jumpstart the safe reopening of the country's economy. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Trade and Industry on Monday called for incentives for those who complete their COVID-19 vaccination.

Possible "benefits" include permission for fully vaccinated senior citizens to go to public areas, and easing travel protocols which wold be "helpful" to investors, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

"We just hope that moving forward, as we get to vaccinate more, we start to reopen further, especially give the benefits sa mga nabakunahan na (to people who are already vaccinated)," Lopez said during the ceremonial inoculation of essential workers.

"Sana may maramdaman din silang benepisyo... Iyong mga bawal ngayon, sana payagan na," he added. 

(We hope that they feel benefits, that those banned now could be allowed.)

More than 1.5 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated as of June 6.

The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 is studying incentives for them, said vaccine "czar" Carlito Galvez Jr. 

"We are considering na bigyan ng (giving) some sort of opening of restrictions to those people who will be vaccinated," he said in the same event. 

The inoculation drive, which started in March, earlier covered health workers, the elderly and people with health risks.

Authorities vaccinated about 50 economic and government workers during Monday's ceremony at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay. 

"This is really the much needed shot in the arm, talagang pagbigay ng suporta sa (gives support to the) backbone of our economy, ang workers po," said Lopez. 

"This is really what need as we are trying to continuously reopen. Otherwise po, ang ating reopening forward, backward."