Farmers to IATF, DOH: Amid vaccination, economic aid should be mandatory

Proposals of the IATF and the Department of Health to make vaccination mandatory for specific sectors did not sit well with a farmers group. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said that only a holistic and effective pandemic response will assure a controlled COVID situation. Ang dapat na gawing mandatory at mabilisan sa ngayon ay ang pagbibigay ng ayuda at pang-ekonomikong tulong sa mamamayan,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos. Vaccination should remain voluntary and the granting of economic aid mandatory for vulnerable and affected sectors.

“The government can’t just impose a jab on anyone or discriminate against anyone who still hasn’t got the COVID vaccine. Convincing people to get a vaccine will be a continuous process of education and public information on the necessity of achieving herd immunity. He noted that there is still a high vaccine hesitancy in far-flung rural areas due to lacking convincing information.

The DOH said it has done everything to encourage vaccination but faffles and privileged incentives will not instantly ease the widespread public mistrust of the corruption-tainted health department.

While it is good that COVID cases are going down on a national scale, a vaccination program alone will not be sufficient to shield Filipinos from getting infected. The government must also ensure steady livelihood and food accessibility for the population. If the majority of the people remain jobless and lacking in livelihood, it will be hard to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

In fact, COVID worsened the hunger situation, with food inflation still high at 5.6% despite the slower pace of price hike of meat, vegetables, and fish. Hindi abot kaya ng masa ang presyo ng pagkain. Wala pang pambili kaya gutom talaga ang marami, the peasant leader concluded. ###

Image from Ayuda Network

In fact, COVID worsened the hunger situation, with food inflation still high at 5.6% despite the slower pace of price hike of meat, vegetables, and fish. Hindi abot kaya ng masa ang presyo ng pagkain. Wala pang pambili kaya gutom talaga ang marami, the peasant leader concluded. ###

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