Rama insists privileges for vaccinated individuals legal, justified
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama insists that the privileges the city has given to vaccinated individuals to be served in operating establishments are legal and justified.
This as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing recently said that he will be asking Cebu City to recant their policy on allowing only vaccinated individuals to enjoy certain services of establishments.
Densing said that local government units (LGU) cannot implement any policy that restricting the movement of non-vaccinated individuals and giving free passes to those who have been vaccinated.
“It cannot happen right now. The government cannot implement such a policy. The Department of Justice has given its opinion that until everyone is given the opportunity to be vaccinated, we cannot impose bakuna bubbles,” Densing said in a television interview with TV 5.
But Rama said he finds no reason to recant the policy since the Interagency Task Force (IATF) has not prohibited LGUs from placing such restrictions in the local policies.
“Dili ta makig-away sa DILG or sa IATF. Gani, even mayor Sara Duterte karon didto sa Davao is even doing mandatory requirement nga kung dili magpabakuna, dili niya irenew ang empleyado. As far as atoa karong executive order, dili man na tibuok requirement ang vaccinated, abli man gihapon ang malls,” said Rama in a phone interview.
The vice mayor, who signed the executive order on September 7, 2021 in his capacity as acting mayor then, said that the business sector suggested the policy to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
“Unsa may problema sa DILG nga kana siya gikan man na sa business sector?” he said.
It can be remembered that the Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) is already drafting a policy that LGUs can use as basis for policies referring to segregation of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. This policy has yet to be released.
“We should be fair to the vaccinated individuals. Ang businesses pod, di na ganahan nga masirado napud sila. At least naa silay earning bisan gamay,” said Rama.
The vice mayor said the policy is meant to help the economy while encouraging more people to get vaccinated, hitting two birds with one stone.
Rama will be seeking audience to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and Undersecretary Densing on September 13, 2021, in order to discuss the policy.
The DILG is set to meet with mayors then to discuss quarantine concerns and policies.
Consequently, Rama is also in Manila right now while he remains in official leave until September 14, 2021.
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