DTI exec explains why a 'vaccine pass' for establishments may not work right now

Published May 17, 2021, 5:10 PM

by Betheena Unite

Unimplementable, discriminatory.

That’s how a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official described proposals to require customers to present a “vaccine pass” before they are allowed entry to a business establishment. Essentially, a vaccine pass is proof that the person holding it has received coronavirus disease (COVID-19) shots.

(Veejay Villafranca/ File photo/ Bloomberg)

Trade Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte said in a televised interview Monday, May 17 that it is not possible to implement such rule, at least for now, considering the lingering questions on the efficacy of vaccines. It may also cause discrimination among Filipinos, he said.

“Unang-una po siguro dahil na rin sa sinabi ng DOH na hindi naman talaga may kasiguruhan na yung vaccine ay talagang hindi pa pwedeng mag-contaminate ng kapwa so malinaw po yan sa sinabi ng DOH. Pangalawa baka mahirapan pa tayo sa pag-implement kung ito po ay magiging mandatory (First, according to the Department of Health there is no sufficient evidence that people who are vaccinated can no longer get sick and infect other people, that was clearly stated by the DOH. Second, it might not be easy for us to implement this if we make it mandatory),” Vizmonte said.

The undersecretary noted that while such policy could be implemented by a few establishments, “it cannot be implemented in the entire industry.” “As of now kasi ang pananaw po natin parang magkakaroon ng iba-ibang treatment sa bawat publiko at second mahirap talagang maimplement kasi ibig sabihin po niyan lahat ng tao ay hahanapan po natin ng (We think that this would create different types of treatment for the public and second, if we implement this, it means we have to require everyone to show) proof that they are already vaccinated,” he explained.

The Philippine government is slowly but surely ramping up its mass vaccination program. It had been rolling out a handful of vaccine brands against COVID-19, which it acquired through either procurement or donation from other countries.

Meanwhile, the DTI prodded the private sector to come up with possible perks for vaccinated people that certain establishments could provide.

The DOH has also expressed opposition to the vaccine pass system.