Lacson says PH vaccine strategy must focus on incentives

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2021 05:49 PM

Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson speaks during their “Online Kamustahan” held at their headquarters in San Juan City on November 30, 2021. The dialogue with some transport groups discussed various issues affecting public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators such as the jeepney modernization program and the loss of income during the pandemic. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson speaks during their “Online Kamustahan” held at their headquarters in San Juan City on November 30, 2021. The dialogue with some transport groups discussed various issues affecting public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators such as the jeepney modernization program and the loss of income during the pandemic. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Thursday said the government should balance incentives and some forms of sanction in its vaccination strategy, even as he finds "some sense" in the controversial "no vaccine, no work" policy.

"There’s some sense into it, ano. Kasi kung sarili lang ang iniintindi ‘nung ayaw magpa-vaccinate, hindi niya naiisip na dapat kapakanan din ng ibang tao... I think we should be responsible enough and maging personal obligation na lang natin ‘yan," Lacson said.

(We can't only think about ourselves. How about the welfare of others? It should be our personal obligation.)

He acknowledges though that vaccination is a human rights issue.

"Kasi may human rights issue ito e, kasi katawan ng tao ‘yan eh."

(It's also a human rights issue because it involves people's bodies.)

Instead of forcing everyone to get vaccinated, Lacson pushes for more incentives to those who agree receiving the jab.

"Siguro mas maganda balansehin natin ‘yung incentives na ibinibigay versus ‘yung disincentive, ano. Isa sigurong incentive na naisip natin na maski hindi pumasok sa trabaho, basta nagpabakuna, siguro huwag nang i-mark absent; suwelduhan na lang," Lacson said.

(It's better if we balance incentives and disincentives. For example if a worker takes a leave to get jabbed, let's not mark him absent and just his wage for the day.)

Lacson’s running-mate Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said government must convince and inspire Filipinos to get vaccinated instead of forcing them to do so.

"Siguro I will go to the extent of convincing or inspiring our countrymen to do it, not forcing. Ganoon ‘yung aking pananaw... Kumbinsihin na lang natin, huwag nating pilitin, hindi ba? Ewan ko. Right now, that’s how I look at it. I have yet to be convinced otherwise," Sotto said.

(Let's just convince them. Don't force them.)

Both agreed the government's pandemic response should be based on science. They said that if they win in the upcoming elections, the current strategy will be improved.

Meanwhile, Lacson praised tech giant Google for its decision to stop carrying political advertisements in its platforms during the Philippine elections campaign period, which starts February 2022.

"Very good! Para talagang… Kasi yung trolls, naga-abound eh! It’s about time na magkaroon ng responsibilidad talaga, lalo ‘yung mga trolls kasi ito ‘yung naninira... Mabuti na rin na ‘yung mga social media platforms ay nagiging responsible na enough para ma-regulate yung paggamit ng social media," Lacson said.

(It's about time the trolls be held accountable for their vitriol. It's good that online platforms are taking actions.)

The tandem reiterated their promise to continue the "good projects" of the current administration, particularly its flagship infrastructure program "Build Build Build," even without an endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Ke i-endorse, ke-hindi, talaga namang ‘yung mga magagandang programa dapat ituloy, lalo 'yung Build, Build, Build," Lacson said. 

(With or without an endorsement, we'll continue the good projects.)

Duterte's bet Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go on Tuesday announced he is backing out of the presidential race. He has yet to announce the aspirant he will be endorsing in the May 9, 2022 polls.

In an interview posted on YouTube last Nov. 14, Duterte said he is not supporting the presidential bids of former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., Sen. Manny Pacquiao and others as he commits to back only Go, citing the latter's "honesty".

While Lacson said it would be presumptuous to respond to questions whether or not he will welcome a Duterte endorsement, Pacquiao and another presidential aspirant Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso have said they will appreciate if that comes.

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