MANILA, Philippines – Labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman said if he wins, he would give out incentives to encourage Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the Partido Lakas ng Masa standard-bearer, he would issue incentives like special leaves through an executive order.
“Kung may magpapabakuna, puwede kong ipanawagan, maglabas ako ng executive order na lahat ng magpapabakuna, ay may bakuna leave, puwedeng gano’n ‘yong gawin ko. O kaya naman ‘yong recovery leave, puwede kong gawin ‘yon para maenganyo ‘yong magpapabakuna,” De Guzman said during his interview with DZRH on Wednesday, January 26.
(For those who want to be vaccinated, I can request, I issue an executive order stating that all who will be vaccinated will have a vaccination leave, I can do that. Or maybe a recovery leave, I can do that to encourage people to get vaccinated.)
De Guzman said he will also not make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory.
“Pero hindi ko gagawing ima-mandatory ko, hindi ko gagawin. Dahil ire-respeto ko ‘yong mga pananaw no’ng ibang mga tao. Dahil ‘yong mga taong ‘yan, katawan nila ‘yan (I won’t make vaccination mandatory. Because I respect other people’s beliefs, it’s their life),” the presidential aspirant explained.
In January, De Guzman already encouraged the strengthening of vaccination drives through incentives and not sanctions. Aside from vaccine and recovery leave, the aspiring president also suggested paid leaves for workers amid the surge.
At the height of COVID-19 surge in Metro Manila early this year, the government’s “no vaccination, no ride policy” has become controversial because of the confusion it caused to commuters. Some workers were even turned away from their rides because they were not fully vaccinated.
Shortly, the transportation and labor department clarified that workers were exempted from the said policy.
At present, the government still aims to inoculate 90% of the Philippines’ total population by June 2022. Only five months left before their deadline, at least 50% of Filipinos were already fully vaccinated. – Rappler.com