DSWD: 4Ps beneficiaries now more open to getting COVID-19 jab

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2021 09:55 AM

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MANILA – Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries are now more willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said, as some government officials moved to withhold the monthly subsidies of conditional cash transfer recipients who don’t get jabbed against the deadly disease.

A number of 4Ps beneficiaries had fears about the COVID-19 shot based on surveys conducted by the DSWD before the vaccination program started, Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova told TeleRadyo.

She said, however, that these fears have been addressed at roundtable discussions and townhall meetings that they have held with recipients.

“Prior to our vaccination program, meron talagang ano, hesitancy and fears ang ating mga benepisyaryo. Ito ay napag-alaman namin based on the survey namin bago tayo nagkaroon ng bakuna,” Relova said.

“And then we conducted roundtable discussions with our beneficiaries, and also townhall meetings together with the Department of Health (DOH). So aming yung mga information and campaign materials regarding the vaccination program, sinagot ang kanilang mga fears, ang kanilang mga hesitation, and currently, na-dispell na ito and they are very much willing na ibigay ang kanilang informed consent para sila ay mabakunahan.”

She added that 4Ps beneficiaries have been informed about COVID-19 vaccines through their family development sessions and printed materials from the DOH. 

“We have exerted effort to have a massive information drive campaign para ang mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps ay mabigyan natin ng tamang impormasyon tungkol sa mga benefits ng ating bakuna.”

“At ito ay aming cinoconduct sa aming electronic FDS (family development sessions), meron din silang mga materials na nagmula din sa Department of Health.”

Relova said about 526,000 have been immunized against COVID-19.

She said 4Ps beneficiaries belong to the A5 vaccine priority category—and that vaccination for this group is just starting to roll out in some parts of the country.

“It is also worthy to note na ang ating mga 4Ps ay kabilang sa ating A5. So nagsisimula palang tayong mag-rollout dito sa sector ng A5 so baka pagka nagkaroon tayo ng massive rollout, tataas pa po itong figures na ito,” she said. 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Monday that non-vaccination against COVID-19 cannot be reason to withhold benefits of people listed in the government's conditional cash transfer program.

Many lawmakers and even a doctors’ group have also nixed the proposal, saying it is against the law and that it might not even work.

Relova said the DSWD will continue to give monthly cash transfers to 4Ps beneficiaries, regardless of their vaccination status.

“Nais naming bigyang diin ng departamento na sa ngayon, doon sa current natin na batas na Republic Act 11310, very specific yung mga provisions niya under Section 11, na merong mga conditionalities lang para mareceive nila ang kanilang subsidy. So once na comply nila yung mga conditions na ito, so talagang ibibigay ni DSWD yung subsidy nila at yung bakuna ay hindi part ng condition sa ating batas ng 4Ps.”

--TeleRadyo, 9 November 2021