IATF, DOH urged to clarify 'confusing' policy on proof of full vaccination

Published June 15, 2021, 4:19 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Joel Villanueva on Tuesday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Department of Health (DOH) to clear the issue about a confusing policy requiring fully vaccinated Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to produce proof of vaccination.

During a Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response, Villanueva said the current policy is to require fully-vaccinated Filipinos to produce two sets of proof—a vaccine card and certification issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) or the Local Health Officer.

“Isn’t this additional red tape?” Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor and employment, asked during the hearing.

“It further confuses our people. There’s already a vaccine card and you still require certification?” he pointed out.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he is not sure if the policy is being implemented already but the senator asked him and other officials present at the hearing to check.

Villanueva said the policy involved requiring those who had been vaccinated here to also seek certification from their local health officers or the DICT to state that they have already been injected with vaccines.

“In the first place, are they trained to certify the vaccination? I hope you look into this,” he said.

The lawmaker said Paragraph B of IATF Resolution No. 120, series of 2021, states that aside from the vaccination card, a fully vaccinated individual must carry a certification issued by the DICT or the City Health Officer.

He, however said, this policy would be burdensome for Filipinos who were fully vaccinated before leaving the country as it would appear the vaccination cards issued to them are insufficient proof of inoculation.

Villanueva noted the IATF’s policy is silent about returning OFWs who received their full dose of COVID-19 jabs overseas.

The senator also lamented there is no standard document to be recognized as proof of vaccination. [Hannah L. Torregoza]