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Imee pushes Swab Swap program

SENATOR Imee Marcos on Friday proposed twin solutions to boost the government’s COVID-19 testing program and promote business recovery at the same time.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, said the national government, the private sector, local government units (LGUs) and the citizenry will mutually benefit from the Swab Swap program that “practically puts money in people’s pockets while generating demand for products and services, in exchange for taking a swab.

Food dole-outs are good. But why stop there when relief can be extended to a wide range of businesses that need to stay open and recover?” Marcos said.

Swab Swap proposes the use of vouchers with dates of availment for various products and services, Marcos explained, citing the success of a similar program piloted in her home province, Ilocos Norte, where even vouchers for travel and recreation are offered.

Beyond food dole-outs, vouchers can channel the government’s stimulus funding to other ailing businesses. Vouchers are also more wieldy, their distribution less demanding logistically. The LGUs can schedule it with the swabbing program according to family names, alphabetically and within set time windows to minimize crowding,” Marcos said.

The countless advocacies and CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs in the private sector make voucher donations feasible in helping the government improve its testing rate,” Marcos added.

There’s a certain optimism attached to vouchers, reminding us that we can look forward to better times ahead,” Marcos also said.