Philippine economy

Senators want special perks for fully vaccinated Filipinos to boost economy

Ralf Rivas
Senators want special perks for fully vaccinated Filipinos to boost economy

DINING IN. Shoppers eat at a mall in Manila on July 30, 2021.

Dante Diosina Jr./Rappler

These proposed perks include being allowed to dine inside restaurants and having fewer mobility restrictions

Senators urged Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to use his closeness to President Rodrigo Duterte and encourage perks for fully vaccinated individuals.

During the 2022 budget deliberations on Wednesday, September 8, Senator Cynthia Villar said special privileges for those who got the COVID-19 jab will help shore up the economy.

These proposed perks include being allowed to dine inside restaurants and having fewer mobility restrictions.

“How will you convince those who don’t want to be vaccinated when the vaccinated are not allowed to go out and enjoy life?” Villar asked Dominguez.

Senator Sonny Angara agreed with Villar’s proposal, adding that individuals already have vaccination cards that they can show to establishments.

Senators want special perks for fully vaccinated Filipinos to boost economy

Villar went on to criticize the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for implementing harsh restrictions, which in turn hurt the economy.

“Sometimes, in the IATF, we are a lonely voice trying to put rationality into trying to convince people that the idea of lockdowns don’t really work for the entire community, and that I agree that vaccinated people should be provided more mobility than others,” Dominguez responded, without naming the other task force members pushing for the idea.

Dominguez also said he is proposing that companies shoulder the testing of employees to increase the Philippines’ testing capacity.

Health officials earlier warned it is still too early to set different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, as the country remains far from herd immunity.

Around 18.94% of the population have received the first of two doses of the vaccine. Meanwhile, those who have taken both jabs as well as single-dose vaccines represent around 13.72% of the population. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.