Language of War or Love?

FEU Advocate
February 10, 2022 03:35

by Lance Christopher A. Bisda

With Duterte’s continuing language of war in handling the pandemic, considering fear appeals as a necessary step towards vaccination compliance should be abolished and let a loving approach to its constituent be instilled instead.

The sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in the country has always been the entry point of Duterte’s draconian directives to scare and punish the people, blinded to the inefficient contingency plans.

From the notion of “pasaway” (violators) to penalizing hesitant citizens for not getting vaxxed, Duterte always relishes on fear to produce adherence but what almost two years of terror produced, since the pandemic, was a psychological burden.

People are already suffering from the repercussions of the pandemic and with the President’s incessant threats on live broadcasts centralizing media outlets, this is not a sound government response.

Utilizing these tactics is already barbaric but what the country needs is a more prosocial answer: a language of love!

February is considered the month of love and Robredo’s tactics in handling vaccine hesitancy is through a reward system, which speaks of her altruism to her countrymen.

As the proponent of incentivizing people getting COVID-19 shots, this propelled a more successful trendline on the vaccination rate which is visibly adopted by the government through inclusive ayuda or monetary support for people being vaccinated.

Having a positive reinforcement on the suggested public’s action towards health protocol is a more productive and intuitive approach in strengthening the call of the health institutions in mitigating the spread of the virus.

More than this, people are bringing home satisfactory experiences after getting their vax shots as monetary values produce relief in handling the financial struggles of most people.

Vaccination is not a mandatory policy and there is not enough spotlight to shed the narratives of people in justifying their reasons why they fail to have their vax shots.

What the government can do is to shift their blame-game of pointing fingers to an open, helping hand because there are always prevailing circumstances outside of a person's locus of control that hinder them to get vaccinated.

Hesitancy is a byproduct of being uninformed. In order to combat this dilemma, the government shall be armed with the guidance of health institutions and accept its evidence-based approaches.

Raising awareness about vaccines should also be one of the top-of-the-list actions of the government because sailing through uncharted territory is always scary.

So rather than weaponizing fear, the government must have empathy and endearing services to its constituents; a professed love is a marker of a sincere act of public support!

What type of language should be heard in the government response? Email your answers at 

(Illustration by Maria Margarita Corazon P. Rivera/FEU Advocate)