The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday told employers to rethink its ” “no vaccine, no work” policy plans since there is a global vaccine supply shortage.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted the Philippines has a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine as of now.
“Kung marami po ang bakuna, siguro po ‘yan ang magiging ideal na patakaran. Pero sa ngayon po hindi pa po natin alam kung sino ang puwede magpabakuna dahil sa kakulangan ng supply,” she said.
As early as 2020, some workers had already worried over their employers’ warning that a “no vaccine, no work” policy would be implemented.
“Dapat po siguro pag-isipan po ‘yan ng mga may-ari ng kumpanya dahil ito po ay magiging inequitable at maaaring ito ay magkaroon ng epekto lalong lalo na doon sa mga mahihirap natin na workers,” Vergeire said.
Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday that the reported “no vaccine, no work” policy of some business establishments is illegal.
“Yung no vaccine, no work, illegal ‘yan, bawal yan,” Bello said in an interview on Dobol B TV.
DOH tells employers to rethink ‘no vaccine, no work’ policy
The DOLE chief said employers cannot force their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He added a “no vaccine, no work” policy could be considered as “discrimination.”
“Kaya wala pong ganyang patakaran. Kung sino man ‘yung employer na gumagawa niyan, alam niya na mali ang ginagawa niya,” he said.
Bello also noted that the Philippines does not have enough supply of vaccines as of now.
The “no vaccine, no work” policy issue surfaced after some workers in the agriculture, manufacturing, and services sector informed the Associated Labor Union (ALU) about it.
The ALU said most of the complaints came from the hotel, restaurant, and BPO workers.
“Meron tayong tinatawag na Anti-Discrimination Law. Yung discrimination ay iba-ibang klaes na porma at uri ngunit sa aming paningin, isa itong uri ng discrimination,” said Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson for ALU-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, in Chino Gaston’s report on State of the Nation.
“So kung mayroong magrereklamong manggagawa, tutulungan namin magsampa ng kaso,” he added.