Businesses told: Vaccines not employment precondition
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Businesses here were told not to use COVID-19 vaccination as a precondition for hiring new employees and for those who are set to return for work.
This after the Cebu Provincial Board passed a resolution urging establishments not to sell, in any way, vaccines that they purchased for their workers.
The resolution, penned by Cebu 6th District Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco, also instructed companies to shoulder expenses if they wish to vaccinate their workforce against COVID-19.
“The current vaccination roll-out, as a national policy, is free-of-charge for all,” portions of Soco’s two-page resolution read.
“Private businesses and organizations must not impose upon their employees and even possible hires the condition of having themselves vaccinated for a cost and/or through salary deduction. These are illegal practices and are punishable by law,” it added.
Soco, in a series of follow-up messages sent to reporters, said they received multiple complaints from employees about companies implementing COVID-19 vaccines as a requirement for employment.
“If the companies wish to have a fully-vaccinated workforce, they have to avail of the government vaccination program or they should cover for whatever costs there may be,” Soco said.
He added that the reports reaching his office are already “alarming.”
“It is quite alarming because the Covid19 National Vaccination Program or RA (Republic Act) 11525 clearly specifies that vaccines must not be sold or be at cost to anyone since all available vaccines are not yet for commercial purposes or trade; they were all given emergency use authorizations only,” Soco said.
The COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Metro Cebu currently covered subgroups A1, A2, and A3 which referred to medical frontliners, senior citizens, and people with co-morbidities.
Essential workers, classified under A4, are covered by the private-public partnership program in Cebu called the Project Balik Buhay (PBB).
Data from the Visayas Vaccination Operation Center (VVOC) showed that as of June 10, a total of 8,000 workers have already completed their COVID-19 inoculation schedules. This means that they already received the required two doses of the vaccines.
Under the PBB program, a total of 17,653 employees were administered the first dose. / dcb
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