No such thing as ‘no jab, no work’ policy amid A4 vaccination — DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — The government still does not “recognize” the no vaccine, no work policy even as the country kicked off the vaccination of economic frontliners, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) clarified on Monday.
Labor Undersecretary Benjo Santos Benavidez made the clarification after the national government began rolling out the program to eventually immunize 35.5 million people who belong to the A4 category.
To recall, the Interagency Taskforce on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) simplified the criteria of A4 category to include private-sector workers who need to be physically present in their workplace; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units; informal sector workers and self-employed individuals who work outside their homes; and those working in private households.
“In effect pa rin naman yun, actually yung labor advisory namin was issued in anticipation of this, kasi sa buong vaccination program po ‘yun ng government,” Santos said in a virtual briefing when asked if the ‘no vaccine no work’ policy is still not allowed.
(That’s still in effect, actually our labor advisory was issued in anticipation of this, that is for the whole vaccination program of the government.)
“We still don’t recognize that policy, if indeed existing, yung policy na, hindi ka makakapagtrabaho kung hindi ka pa bakunado [the policy that you can’t go to work if you are not vaccinated],” he added.
Earlier, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the “no vaccine no work” policy is “illegal,” saying employers could not force workers to vaccinate if they don’t want to.
The government has already conducted a “ceremonial” vaccination at the Mall of Asia on Monday to mark the beginning of the economic frontliners’ inoculation on Monday, which was attended by Bello and other cabinet officials.
While vaccination for workers is not mandatory, Bello still encouraged the employers to have their workers get vaccinated.
“By guaranteeing their health and safety, our economy will quickly recover from the devastation brought about by the COVID pandemic,” he said during the program at the Mall of Asia.
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