How incentives, not threats, are getting people vaccinated for COVID-19

June 22, 2021 - 6:40 PM
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A photo of a driver receiving COVID-19 vaccine (Leni Robredo/Twitter)

Incentives work to encourage more Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Some social media users highlighted this following a vaccine initiative with free gas cards catered for tricycle and delivery drivers in Manila.

The Office of the Vice President, in collaboration with the Manila City Government, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and some private businesses, launched a program called “Vaccine Express” on Tuesday.

Vaccine Express is a drive-thru vaccine service dedicated to tricycle or pedicab drivers and delivery personnel who work in the city.

SEAOIL Foundation also offered P500 gas card for every driver inoculated as a form of incentive, according to Vice President Leni Robredo’s tweet.

Robredo said that the 200 drivers have already received their vaccines as of 12 noon.

When posts of this free service circulated online, some users lauded those behind the initiative, citing that these drivers are also frontliners of this pandemic.

“Deserve nila to. DESERVE. Sila yung bumuhay satin noong panahon na bawal tayo lumabas. They were the ones exposed to the virus when all of us didn’t know much about it,” one user said.

Others, meanwhile, said the incentives such as giving away of free gas cards is an effective approach to urge riders to get inoculated against COVID-19.

“Encourage and educate people to get vaccinated,” another Twitter user wrote.

“Even if the drivers feel like they’d have to miss a day or two because of the vaccine’s side effects, P500 worth of free gas helps with overhead costs,” another Twitter user commented.

Some online users said this incentivizing works that arrest.

In his Talk to the People on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said threatened to jail people who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

READ: Duterte threatens those who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine with jail

“Incentives work better than threats of arrest,” a Twitter user said.

“Ang pagbibigay ng ensentibo ang isa sa pinaka mabisang paraan para makuha ang loob ng tao. Sa programa ng pamahalaan mahalagang makuha ang loob ng bawat mamamayan,” another Twitter user Twitter user said.

The Department of Health has also partnered with several private businesses for its “RESBAKUNA” vaccination program wherein an individual can avail of different free food, drinks, discounts and other perks after receiving COVID-19 jab.

READ: Free food per COVID-19 jab? Rundown of businesses offering freebies, discounts for vaccinated Pinoys

Under this program, fully vaccinated persons should just present their COVID-19 vaccination cards along with a valid ID to redeem the discount and freebie offers in participating offers.

The program called SMART Bakuna Benefits was launched this month and will run until August 31, 2021.

As of writing, this massive public-private incentive program has at least 157 participating companies and businesses.

“Mga ka-RESBAKUNA, sulit na sulit ang pagbabakuna ninyo! Bukod sa proteksyon kontra COVID-19, makakalikom ka pa ng sangkatutak na benefits, freebies at exclusive discounts!” DOH said back then.

The full list of participating merchants and the initiative’s guidelines can be viewed here.