IATF members agree vaccination not added requisite for employment – Sec. Guevarra

Published October 28, 2021, 3:25 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

The members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) are in agreement that employers can’t fire their unvaccinated workers or impose vaccination as pre-requisite for employment.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, an IATF member, said the issue on COVID vaccination in relation to employment was discussed during the meeting held last Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Guevarra said: “I emphasized that ‘the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021’ was clear on the non-compulsory nature of vaccination as an additional requirement for employment.”

“Unless amended or modified by Congress, it is the existing and applicable law,” he said.

He recalled that during the meeting, no IATF member expressed “any different or contrary position.”

Last Oct. 20, Guevarra warned employers against violations of Section 12 of Republic Act No. 115251, the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.

He said that under RA 115251, “the vaccine cards shall not be considered as an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes.”

He pointed out the provision in the law after several business groups recommended the employment only of persons who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.