Banning unvaccinated from work illegal – ECOP

Published October 18, 2021, 4:52 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) declared that banning unvaccinated workers from returning to work is illegal.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said this as he admitted it is “very possible” that some employers are not accepting workers if they have not yet been vaccinated.

“We are against it (banning unvaccinated from returning to work), that is against the law,” Ortiz-Luis stressed.

According to Ortiz-Luis, the problem is not on the “hesitancy” of some Filipinos to get vaccinated because there are still a lot of people lining up at vaccination centers. The real issue is there is not enough vaccines, and that vaccines have not really reached to some local government units.

“We will not run out of people to be vaccinated for the next several months,” he said as he pointed out that there are now vaccinated people who will be needing boosters because their first and second dose vaccines are already past six months. Then, vaccinations for children are also starting.

In fact, he said, the vaccines being ordered by the private sector under the Tripartite Agreement have been delayed.

With that, he refuted the claim of the government that vaccination in the National Capital Region has already attained over 70 percent, but rather 30 percent of population. He explained that the over 70 percent vaccination rate is based on the target vaccination population but not the entire population.

“So, why discriminate those unvaccinated, why disallow those unvaccinated to return to work. It is not just constitutional issue but a moral one,” he said.

Instead, Ortiz-Luis urged government to strictly implement the minimum public health protocols, such as dividers in dining tables, social distancing, proper ventilation and sanitation because even those vaccinated can still be infected.