Philippines community raffles off bags of rice to boost vaccine drive


A woman drops her entry for the weekly raffle draw of sacks of rice for vaccinated residents, at the Barangay Sucat Covered Court, in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on June 21, 2021. - Reuters

MANILA (Reuters): A community in the Philippines has been raffling off huge sacks of rice in exchange for getting vaccinated against Covid-19, after finding it hard to persuade people to get their shots.

Twenty weekly winners who get their shots in Sucat on the outskirts of the capital Manila have been taking home a 25 kg (55 pound) sack of rice each.

Local official Jeramel Mendoza said the initiative was targeting mainly poorer residents, who were not so keen on vaccinations.

"Initially, when we conducted our vaccination drive, there were very few people signing up. So we asked ourselves why?" he said.

"Why are those rich people or those who live in exclusive villages able to lead the vaccinations, but our poorer sectors do not to join in or participate?"

Sucat village officials said since starting the initiative at end-May, they have been administering their daily quota of vaccines of up to 2,000 doses, whereas before they were giving only about 400 doses a day.

"It's a nice initiative and I feel safer after being vaccinated. I'm happy I got vaccinated while winning some rice," said Almond Gregorio, a firefighter and holder of a winning raffle ticket.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month appealed to the public to get vaccinated, after data showed the government was far behind on its immunisation targets as it battles one of Asia's longest-running outbreaks.

This week, Duterte showed less patience, threatening in a televised address on Monday to jail people who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

About 2 million of the Philippines' population of nearly 110 million are fully inoculated against Covid-19 so far, although the country has had difficulties securing vaccine supplies.

A survey of 1,200 Filipinos in May by independent pollster Social Weather Stations showed only a third were willing to be vaccinated, while a third were hesitant over concerns about side effects or the overall efficacy of vaccines.

The Philippines has ordered 113 million vaccination doses from five manufacturers, but so far it has mostly been giving shots of China's Sinovac vaccine.

In Sucat, housewife and another prize winner, Louilyn Tubice, said of the local initiative: "It's delightful because you get to be vaccinated and also receive a bag of rice."

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Philippines , Covid-19 , vaccination , raffles , rice

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines as at 9pm on Sunday (Dec 4)
Man who lost S$149k after clicking on phishing e-mail among at least 10 victims in Case cyber attack
New Cabinet ministers to commence duties, attend special meeting on Dec 5
Anwar's experience needed to help stabilise economy, says Nik Nazmi
CPTPP still holds untapped potential for Vietnamese businesses
More Covid-19 infections and new wave expected with year-end travel, festivities: Ong Ye Kung
Malaysia to further advance long-standing bilateral ties with Thailand, says Anwar
100 metric tonnes of smuggled onions seized in Manila
Military police will ‘destroy’ all vehicles used to transport illegal timber
Sarawak police seize RM643,000 worth of drugs in Sibu

Others Also Read