Two-thirds of surveyed PH firms says they’re giving workers access to COVID jab

Published March 2, 2021, 1:11 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

An estimated two-thirds of private companies in the Philippines have already taken steps to provide their employees access to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, a joint survey by Willis Towers Watson and People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) bared Tuesday, March 2.

Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City observes the simulation exercise as the local government prepares for its COVID-19 vaccination program. (Arnold Almacen/CMO)
(Arnold Almacen / CMO / FILE PHOTO)

Based on the survey results, 65 percent of the 250 human resources (HR) practitioners who served as respondents said their companies have already arranged, or are in the process of arranging, the purchase of vaccines in their employees’ behalf.

Among the employers that haven’t started the process, 58 percent are considering doing so while 42 percent of companies have no plans of purchasing the vaccines.

In addition, 60 percent of the respondents have also indicated that they are working on the procurement of vaccines for the dependents of their employees. Among those haven’t started the process, 52 percent are considering to procure the vaccines for their dependents, while almost half (48 percent) are not.

Willis Towers Watson Philippines released a statement on the survey findings a day after the national government rolled out its mass inoculation program against COVID-19. The government used the 600,000 doses of the China-donated CoronaVac vaccine, which was flow in the country Sunday, Feb.28.

“Now, more than ever, companies need to focus on the health and well-being of their employees,” said Susan La Chica, Health and Benefits Leader, Willis Towers Watson Philippines.

“In a study we conducted last year, 93 percent of employers think that the pandemic will have a negative impact on employee well-being. By providing timely communication, benefits and access, employers can assist employees in getting vaccinated. This is an important role that employers can play in helping to protect their employees and limit the spread of COVID-19,” she noted.

The survey findings also indicated that out of the companies that have made moves to obtain jabs for their workers, 68 percent of them said that they would fully pay for the vaccines.

Meanwhile, one in 10 (11 percent) indicated that they would subsidise the cost, but not shoulder a 100 percent payment for the vaccines. A small proportion of 7 percent said that the company’s financial support would be limited to a segment of their employees’ population. Among these, half said they would pay for the vaccines for permanent employees only.

As for dependents and/or household members, the vast majority (71 percent) of companies said they would pass on the full cost to their employees.

Willis Towers Watson is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. It has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets.

The joint survey with PMAP was conducted last February.