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Duque: Local ordinances can make COVID vaccination mandatory

/ 04:23 AM November 10, 2021
Duterte Pakulo Duque

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Local governments could approve ordinances to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in their areas, although there are also noncompulsory means they could use to convince people to get inoculated, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Tuesday.

Duque made the statement amid discussions on whether the government should require beneficiaries of its cash assistance program for the poor to get vaccinated before receiving aid.

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“As much as possible, we don’t want to force people or make this a law. There’s not enough time for this,” he said at the Laging Handa briefing.

“[Local governments] have the power under the Local Government Autonomy Act of 1992 to pass their own ordinance if they think that the policy of mandatory vaccination is acceptable to their constituents,” he said.

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But this is not the only recourse available to them to increase their vaccination coverage, he said.

“Even if the local governments pass an ordinance, there are still ways to convince those who are hesitant to get vaccinated,” he said.

One is providing informational and educational materials to people and explaining to them using layman’s terms the importance of getting inoculated, as well as disseminating information on vaccination through TV and radio, he said.

Another is to make it easier for people to get the jab by ensuring that vaccination centers are easy to access and the registration process is simple, he said. INQ

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