Iloilo City mayor eyes ‘no vaccine, no work’ policy
ILOILO CITY— Mayor Jerry Treñas is planning to issue an executive order requiring all those employed in this city to have full vaccination before being allowed to work.
Treñas, however, clarified that the proposal would still be studied by the city government’s legal office.
“I would like to make it clear, the ‘no vaccine, no work policy’ is being put into the table only for discussion,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
He said any decision on whether this would be implemented will be made by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Treñas also maintained it was not his intention to force COVID-19 shots on those who do not want to be vaccinated.
“In Iloilo City, we will always plan for the betterment of our constituents. We will not force our constituents to decide to be vaccinated but we appeal for your cooperation for the safety of everyone,” he said.
The mayor earlier floated the idea of mandatory inoculation for those working in Iloilo City to help the local population develop herd immunity.
The World Health Organization defines herd immunity as a vaccination concept premised on the inoculation of the vast majority of people in an area to lower the risk of spreading the infection and help protect the more vulnerable segments of the population.
Malacañang earlier announced that while it strongly encourages vaccination for those eligible, this will not be mandatory.
Treñas’ proposal to implement mandatory vaccination prompted the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to express concern that individual rights may be violated.
“There should be a holistic view on ensuring vaccination and respecting the various human rights,” lawyer Jonnie Dabuco, CHR Western Visayas director, told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.
Dabuco said there could be city residents and workers who were willing to be vaccinated but were not eligible for various reasons.
He also pointed out that a policy that could affect the job security of employees of private firms may instead develop into a labor issue.
The city government has allotted P200 million for the purchase of vaccines and aims to inoculate around 300,000 residents and 100,000 nonresidents working in the city.
It has entered into a tripartite agreement with the national government and multinational drugmaker AstraZeneca for 600,000 doses for residents and an additional 200,000 for nonresidents.
The city government has also conducted a simulation exercise for the inoculation of residents even as it remains unclear when a vaccine is due to arrive.
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