Bello’s statement vs ‘no vax, no work’ policy aids COVID anti-vaxxers, says Garin
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin on Thursday questioned the basis of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s “repeated pronouncements” against the “no work no vaccine” policy, which the lawmaker said only emboldens people who are against COVID-19 vaccines.
Garin also said Bello’s statements counters efforts to convince the public to get vaccinated against the potentially deadly novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“Ano po ba ang basehan sa kanyang pronouncements na paulit-ulit? Kasi kami po na nasa ground minsan, we keep on convincing our people, and the vaccinees to be vaccinated, but if they hear the Secretary of [Labor] repeatedly announcing media, marami po ‘yung umatras, pwede naman po pala hindi magpabakuna, okay lang,” Garin asked during the House deliberations on the proposed budget of the DOLE.
(What is the basis of his repeated pronouncements? Because sometimes, we, who are on the ground, keep on convincing our people, and the vaccinees to be vaccinated, but if they hear the Secretary of [Labor] repeatedly announcing in the media, many people stepped back, realizing it is okay not to be vaccinated [against COVID-19].)
“Para pong its very difficult to balance, kasi ‘yung anti-vaxxers are finding an opportunity to be very strong and convince the people ‘O sige ireklamo niyo ‘yan sa DOLE, ireklamo nyo ‘yan sa DOLE’,” she continued.
(It’s very difficult to balance because the anti-vaxxers are finding an opportunity to be very strong and convince the people: Let’s complain to DOLE.)
Bello, in response, however, said the “no vaccine, no work” policy has no legal basis.
“And it is violative of a constitutional right of a person of free choice,” the DOLE chief pointed out. “Unless there is a law, your honor, requiring us to be vaccinated, we cannot compel anybody to be vaccinated.”
“In the absence of a legislation to that effect, your honor, we have no legalities to compel anybody.”
“And added to this your honor is the fact that we do not have enough supply of vaccines,” he also said.
To date, at least 15.8 million Filipinos were already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez.
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