AS the government ramps up its mass vaccination efforts to protect Filipinos and to curb the further spread of COVID-19, business and industry groups have sought for mobility restrictions against unvaccinated individuals
The groups also expressed their “support to the government’s view that COVID-19 vaccination policies should be more robust in order to save more Filipinos from serious sickness and death and help the economy and jobs to recover” in a joint statement.
The groups that issued the joint statement are Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), Cebu Business Club (CBC), Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), GoNegosyo, Investment Houses Association of the Philippines (IHAP), Makati Business Club (MBC), Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), Philippine Ecozones Association (PHILEA), Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA), US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), and WomenBizPH.
“While we also steadfastly believe that everyone has the right to decide on vaccination, we do believe that the state and the private sector should be able to restrict the activities of unvaccinated persons for the common good,” the statement read.
They said that unvaccinated individuals will most likely get seriously sick “which would add to the strain on the healthcare system putting both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients at risk of not having access to medical treatment.” they added in their statement.
“In addition, there is evidence that unvaccinated persons may be more dangerous carriers of the virus,” the groups said as they cited experts.
Currently under Alert Level 4, the National Capital Region allows restaurants and personal care services to operate at 10 percent indoor venue capacity for those who have completed their COVID-19 vaccine doses. The unvaccinated, meanwhile, can avail of services outdoors at 30-percent seating capacity.
“We believe the state should help companies reopen safely to protect and create jobs by allowing them to impose stricter requirements on unvaccinated employees and patrons, and to decline unvaccinated job applicants, in the interest of the health and safety of both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated,” the groups stated.
The groups also urged a review of a provision of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Advisory 03-21, where “any employee who refuses or fails to be vaccinated shall not be discriminated against in terms of tenure, promotion, training, pay and other benefits or terminated from employment.”
Likewise, they also asked that provisions under Republic Act 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 and the COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement Act of 2021 (Sec 12-G) be reviewed as well.
(PHOTO CREDIT: dti.gov.ph)