Workers cannot be forced to take the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine even if the government has extensively pushed the inoculation program to ease the transmission of the virus and achieve herd immunity.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año stressed this Friday, Oct. 22, when pressed for a reaction on the proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory among workers.
“Employers cannot impose mandatory vaccination to all employees since we still do not have a law to support that,’’ Año said in an interview.
However, Año highly encouraged the workers and employees “to have their vaccination for their own safety.”
He noted that employers also have the prerogative to offer more privileges to their vaccinated workers as he raised the possibility that vaccination may also be a requirement for new applicants in the future.
To further increase the COVID-19 vaccine trust rate, Año previously recognized some local government units (LGUs) for their innovating schemes to encourage their constituents to get jabbed through perks and incentives such as raffle prizes of motorcycles and house and lots.
Despite the government’s massive effort, there are still some skeptics who refused to be inoculated for personal reasons.
Año reiterated that unvaccinated individuals cannot be barred outdoors but their movement will be restricted in areas where they are deemed most vulnerable in getting the virus.
The DILG chief explained that vaccinated individuals will be able to enjoy more outdoor perks as they are allowed entry in indoor establishments like restaurants and fast food chains.
“Kasi delikado ang mga unvaccinated eh (to be indoors). Wala silang laban kapag mahawa. Kung outdoor at least mass lesser ang risk na mahawa sila (Because it is dangerous for the unvaccinated. They do not stand a chance if they get infected. When outdoors, at least the risk of getting infected is much less),’’ he added.