'No jab, no job?' Galvez, Concepcion address misconceptions about vaccine mandates in workplace

Published October 22, 2021, 12:25 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Two government officials on Friday, Oct. 22, weighed in on certain issues surrounding the planned mandatory vaccination of employees in some sectors.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion addresses the media during the arrival of 698,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine at NAIA Terminal 3 on Oct. 22, 2021. (Photo: NTF Against COVID-19)

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said that there was no truth to the claims of some labor coalition, among them the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), that some business establishments were implementing a “no jab, no pay” policy.

Under the supposed rule, the salaries of unvaccinated workers were reportedly withheld by employers until they have presented their vaccination card.

“At this point in time, the employers are not implementing anything like that na (like) no jab, no pay. That’s not being done especially those [business groups] that bought [COVID-19 vaccines],” Concepcion told reporters during the arrival of 698,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that were procured by the private sector under the “Dose of Hope” program.

“We have checked and there’s nobody doing that. I don’t know where TUCP is getting their information,” he added.

However, the “Go Negosyo” founder admitted that they have recommended to Department of Labor and Emplyment (DOLE) Sec. Silvestre Bello III that workers in “labor intensive” sectors to be mandatorily vaccinated.

“We’re suggesting to mandate those under the labor intensive businesses like semi-conductor, BPO [business process outsourcing], call centers, POGO [Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator], and business establishments that are of high risk,” he said.

The private sector also urged Bello to require workers in restaurants, salons, spas, gyms, cinemas and the likes to be vaccinated, according to Concepcion.

“I don’t think it’s correct na bakunado lang ang customers namin exclusively, then ang empleyado namin ay hindi bakunado (I don’t think it’s correct that only our exclusive customers are vaccinated, then our employees are not),” he added.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. addresses the media during the arrival of 698,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine at NAIA Terminal 3 on Oct. 22, 2021. (Photo: NTF Against COVID-19)

Meanwhile, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed support to the proposed “no jab, no job” policy of some private companies where applicants will be required to be vaccinated before they are accepted to work.

“There are two [kinds of] rights: individual rights and global common. Global common rights or saving the humanity is much higher than the individual right,” he explained.

Galvez said an individual has the right to refuse getting the vaccine but companies also have the right “to preserve its institution from being contaminated with the virus.”

“In other countries, we have seen that even though they have higher vaccination rate, they still experienced a resurgence [of cases] so they mandated the vaccination of their citizens. Or else, there will really be negative repercussions to those unvaccinated,” he noted.

However, the no jab, no job policy was rejected by lawmakers at the House of Representatives, among them was House committee on labor and employement Chairman Enrico Pineda.

He was quoted as saying last Thursdaythat restricting access to livelihood on the basis on one’s choice to not be vaccinted “is violative of their basic right to choose, their right to free will.”