Press Release
April 16, 2021


Senator Imee Marcos has proposed a twin solution 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 that 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.

(Tagalog version)


Kambal na solusyon ang itinutulak ni Senador Imee Marcos para sabay na mapaigting ang Covid-19 testing program ng pamahalaan at maisulong ang business recovery sa bansa.

Sinabi ni Marcos, chairman ng Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, na parehong mapapakinabangan ng gobyerno, pribadong sektor, local government units (LGUs) at taumbayan ang Swab Swap program na "praktikal na pagkakitaan ng mga tao habang itinutulak na magamit ang iba't-ibang produkto at serbisyo, kapalit ng pagpapa-swab."

"Maganda ang food dole-outs. Pero bakit hihinto na lang sa ganon ang tulong gayong pwede naman itong mas mapalawak pa sa mga pagnenegosyo na kinakailangang manatiling bukas at makarekober?" ani Marcos.

Sa halip na food dole-outs, susubukan sa Swab Swap ang paggamit ng vouchers na may petsa kung kailan magagamit kapalit ng iba't-ibang mga produkto at serbisyo, paliwanag ni Marcos, na inihalintulad ang kaparehong programa sa kanilang probinsya sa Ilocos Norte, kung saan nag-aalok din ng mga voucher para sa pagbiyahe at maging pamamasyal.

"Kumpara sa food dole-outs lamang, mas maraming naghihingalong negosyo ang malalaanan ng stimulus funding kung voucher ang gagamitin. Hindi rin ganun magiging ka-demanding ang gagawing pamamahagi ng mga voucher. Maaring i-iskedyul ito ng LGU sa kanilang swabbing program alinsunod sa family name, alphabetical at itinakdang oras para maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao," ani Marcos.

"Mas may appeal o pasok ang Swab Swap vouchers sa mga adbokasiya ng pribadong sektor at maging CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs nila para makakatulong sa gobyernong itaas ang testing rate," dagdag ni Marcos.

"May hatid na pag-asa ang mga voucher. Tanda nang pagkakaroon ng mas mabuting hinaharap para sa atin," dagdag ni Marcos.

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