Rewards await Ilocos Norte villages with zero, low Covid-19 cases

LOCKDOWN. Village officials in Barangay San Lorenzo, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte place a temporary barricade to monitor the entry and exit of people in the area. On Sunday (Aug. 15, 2021), the Ilocos Norte government launched a Barangay Incentive Program to compensate the best practices of villages in its effort to maintain zero or reduced cases of Covid-19. (PNA photo by Leilanie G. Adriano) 

LAOAG CITY – The Ilocos Norte government will be rewarding villages that can maintain zero or reduced cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In an announcement on Sunday, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said the Barangay Incentivization Program (BIP) aims to provide cash incentives to the most resilient and disciplined local communities who could effectively manage and contain the further spread of the virus in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

“In one month’s time, we will be rewarding barangays who have lowered or maintained their low percentage of cases,” Manotoc said.

Under the program which comes with four levels of cash awards ranging from PHP30,000 to PHP120,000, the village that can demonstrate the best practice/s in reducing Covid-19 cases based on the color category of infection level per percentage of population with Covid-19 will be rewarded after a month or from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15.

The color category and its description are as follows: Green for low spread, yellow for moderate spread, orange for high spread, and red for very high spread.

Currently, two cities and 21 towns of Ilocos Norte except for Adams and Carasi are under the strictest form of localized quarantine measure due to continuing upsurge of Covid-19 cases.

To date, Ilocos Norte has recorded 4,261 active cases, bringing the cases to a total of 12,075 since the start of the pandemic last year with 7,658 recoveries and 156 deaths.

While giving cash incentives is good, netizens like Aivee Samonte from Laoag City said it may not be timely at the moment.

She suggested that the money could be used to purchase more relief assistance to locked down families or donate it to hospitals that are already running out of supplies and equipment in battling Covid-19.

“This may encourage people not to test anymore to be able to get the cash reward,” said Nicole Rudio, another Laoag resident.

Others said the amount can also be used to buy more test kits for better contact tracing, buy more vaccines or give it as a reward for stricter implementation of health and safety protocols. (PNA

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