Poe sees reservations on vax passport but believes it’s for greater good
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Monday stressed that COVID-19 vaccination passports would be for the greater good as it will further spur the economy and help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) easily travel abroad for work.
According to the senator, OFWs are lining up to get a vaccination certification from the Bureau of Quarantine as other nations do not acknowledge the Philippines’ vaccination cards due to the lack of uniformity.
She said vaccinated Filipinos must receive a standard form of a vaccination card.
“We’ve seen that we are playing catch up now because we didn’t pass it to be a standard vaccine card,” Poe said.
“Yes, we have this argument about the different freedoms and anti-discrimination, but I think this is for the greater good. Certain protocols, perhaps in the past, are no longer as necessary as it is now because of the emergency that we’re facing,” she added.
But Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel raised reservations on the creation of a vaccine passport program, noting that it could be discriminatory.
“My concern is that passport connotes mobility. Actually, it connotes international travel. So, we might be discriminating against the people’s right to travel, right to move around especially when the vaccines are still — I think they’re all still under emergency use if I’m not mistaken,” Pimentel said during the Senate committee on finance hearing on Senate Bill No. 2381 or the Vaccination Passport Program Act.
Department of Health’s Dr. Eric Tayag countered that the vaccines, despite being still under emergency use, work and there is real-world evidence.
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