Senate bill seeks expanded use of COVID-19 vaccine card
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe has filed a bill seeking to expand the use of a COVID-19 vaccine card to allow more mobility for fully vaccinated individuals and make travel for employment easier for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Poe filed Senate Bill No. 2321 to amend the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 to expand the objectives of the vaccine card.
“Now that we are once again about to enter a two-week hard lockdown, we need to have a recovery plan for the economy to keep businesses from closing and more people from losing jobs in the pandemic,” Poe said in a statement Monday.
“Our OFWs have kept our economy afloat in the pandemic, and yet we are making it harder for them to make a living by requiring two different documents that serve the same purpose,” she added.
Under the vaccination program law, the vaccine card is used only as an informative record.
But Poe said that the “purely informative nature” of the vaccine card as provided under the law makes it an “insufficient proof of inoculation to allow individuals to travel, especially the OFWs who need to leave the country for employment.”
Poe’s measure proposes that the vaccine card become a recognized document which a holder can use for overseas or domestic travel, as may be allowed under the regulations of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Under her proposed amendment, the vaccine card may be used for, but not limited to “international travels, as may be required by foreign jurisdictions” and to ease domestic travel in accordance with IATF rules.
So far, over 9 million individuals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Philippines, Malacañang said.
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