CHR cries ‘discrimination’ for the unvaccinated barred from going out
MANILA, Philippines — Barring unvaccinated individuals from going outside may result to “undue discrimination” since they may have valid reasons for not not being vaccinated, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Friday.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said that the government has yet to vaccinate other sectors, including indigent populations, and has prioritized only the inoculation of the medical frontliners (A1), senior citizens (A2), persons with comorbidities (A3), and economic frontliners (A4).
She also noted that only about 7.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, while over 11.5 million have only received their first dose.
Vaccine supply likewise remains to be a challenge, as well as vaccine hesitancy since some people are receiving wrong information on vaccines and their effects.
“With all these challenges, preventing unvaccinated individuals from leaving their homes may result in undue discrimination considering that there are reasons for being unvaccinated that are beyond their control,” he said in a statement.
“Now ito ngayong ayaw magpabakuna, sinasabi ko sa inyo huwag kayong lumabas ng bahay kasi ‘pag lumabas kayo ng bahay, sabihin ko sa mga pulis eh ibalik ka doon sa bahay mo. You will be escorted back to your house because you are a walking spreader,” the President said in a public address last Wednesday.
(Those who don’t want to get vaccinated, I’m telling you, don’t go out of your house because if you go out, I will instruct the police to escort you back to your house.)
However, De Guia said policies restricting human rights in times of emergencies must be lawful, based on scientific evidence, neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, and mindful of “possible disproportionate impacts to marginalized populations.”
“CHR reminds the government that human rights must continue to be at the center of all its efforts. Ending the pandemic is, after all, in pursuit of the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health—a fundamental human right,” she said.
She then urged the government to address issues on vaccine supply and hesitancy and improve the overall health system, especially the response against COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven itself to be a complex threat to everyone. Our response has to be holistic and mindful that we need to heal and recover together, and not leave anyone behind,” she added.
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