Gwen opposes use of vax cards as condition for travel, employment, etc.

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 19,2022 - 08:55 AM

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. | File photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – As far as Cebu province is concerned, the presentation of vaccination cards will not be required when traveling, getting a job, and even entering inside establishments.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia made this announcement during a press conference on Tuesday, January 18, that was aired live on social media.

Garcia said she opposes the use of vaccination cards as a condition for employment, use of public transportation, and in transacting with government offices, among others, saying it runs contrary to what was stipulated on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.

“I think the law is very clear. How else can we interpret other than saying that there shall be no mandatory requirement of vaccine card so that people may enter establishments? May enter schools? May go to work or may enter government buildings or avail of government services?” said Garcia.

“It’s very clear. So I cannot understand why this movement towards now discriminating against the unvaccinated by refusing even their boarding of public buses, airplanes and other means of transportation as well as insisting – as a mayor now has complained – that teachers should show their vax cards before they can enter their own schools,” she added.

The governor also went on saying that existing policies that mandate individuals to present vaccination cards as conditions for use of public spaces “were discriminatory.”

Republic Act No. 112521 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 was enacted last February 2021 in anticipation of the countrywide COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

It served as guidelines for both national and local government agencies when implementing their respective COVID inoculation campaigns.

Sec. 12 of the law, which defines the COVID-19 Vaccination Card, states that “the vaccine cards shall not be considered as an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment and other similar government transaction purposes.”

Garcia further backed her stance by pointing out that the law “clearly says” that “individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 as indicated in the vaccine card shall not be considered immune from COVID-19, unless otherwise declared by the DOH (Department of Health) based on reliable scientific evidence and consensus.”

“I think we’re starting to get confused in treating the unvaccinated as the carriers of this virus. If in fact the vaccinated are not considered immune, and therefore may also catch the virus. If they catch it as they are now catching it, are they not as well carriers? So why this discrimination against the unvaccinated?” continued Garcia.

“This is the law and unless this law is amended… So let me make this very clear, from my interpretation of the law which has proven itself to be stated in very clear terms and has no ambiguity whatsoever: there can be no mandatory requirement of vaccination cards for entry to any establishments,” she said.

The governor has been vocal in her stand against policies limiting the mobility of individuals unvaccinated against COVID-19.

But as Cebu joined Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 due to the recent spike of infections, there have been reports of establishments here asking vaccination cards from guests before entry.

Garcia also reiterated that the province’s new classification status will not result in lockdowns and border controls as the Capitol will continue in its post-Odette rebuilding efforts.

“We have to first focus on rehab and recovery after the devastation of Typhoon Odette so I said: no lockdown and there will be no border controls,” she explained.

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TAGS: Cebu‬, employment requirement, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Travel, vax cards

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