Restrictions on the unvaccinated OK, but they must have access to gov’t services – CHR | Inquirer News
Close  

Restrictions on the unvaccinated OK, but they must have access to gov’t services – CHR

/ 01:25 AM January 04, 2022

A family rides past a vaccination facility at the Quirino Grandstand for a picnic at Luneta in Manila on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, a day before Metro Manila reverts to Alert level 3 following a spike in COVID-19 cases. (File photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — There may be justifiable reasons for imposing restrictions on individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, but they must not be denied access to essential government services, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said in a statement issued on Monday.

“There are valid justifications in restricting rights, including freedom of movement, especially during national emergencies, such as the present pandemic. The [CHR], however, continues to stress that such policies much be based on human rights standards — that, among others, it must be legal, necessary, proportional, and non-discriminatory as detailed under the Siracusa Principles,” Jacqueline de Guia, the CHR spokesperson, said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Siracusa Principles are a set of guidelines, published in 1984 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights,  that seek to ensure that limitations on civic rights, particularly those stated on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are legal and based on evidence that such measures are needed.

“Despite the restrictions, unvaccinated individuals must also continue to be allowed to access essential services. Similar policies must contemplate valid exemptions as well, such as religious and valid medical grounds,” De Guia added.

FEATURED STORIES

The CHR issued the statement after Chairman Benhur Abalos of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that mayors of the National Capital Region had agreed to impose stricter measures on persons who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

One such measure requires unvaccinated persons to remain at home at all times under Alert Level 3, except when they have to buy goods or avail of government services.

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3 until January 15 due to the sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases after the holiday season.

READ: NCR mayors to impose stricter measures on individuals sans COVID-19 vaccine

READ: NCR under Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 15 — Palace

Despite its call for a rights-based approach, the CHR also underscored the importance of getting vaccinated, for the safety not only of the family of an individual but also the community.

“On this note, we continue to encourage and emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as a step to restore full enjoyment of our rights, most especially the protection of our right to health,” De Guia said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While we remind that it is the government’s obligation to respect, protect, and fulfilL our human rights, individually, we also have to do our part in promoting the common good, including collectively ending the pandemic,” she added.

As of Monday, the active COVID-19 infections nationwide continued to increase, with the Department of Health recording 4,084 new infections, bringing the total to 24,992.

The increase came after a relatively low number of daily cases was recorded before the holidays — ranging from 300 to 500 with the active case count down to below 10,000.

READ: PH logs 4,084 new COVID-19 cases; positivity rate hits 20% 

However, after the holidays, more people were confirmed infected, with some experts believing that it might have been caused by the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which is believed to be more infectious than the Delta variant.

The Delta variant was responsible for the surge in the Philippines from August to September 2021.

On New Year’s Day, DOH said that there was a high possibility of local transmissions of the Omicron variant, although it maintained that the country was now more ready to face the Omicron variant after gaining experience from previous surges.

READ: DOH cites ‘high possibility’ of Omicron variant’s local transmission

READ: Philippines ‘more ready’ to face Omicron variant, says DOH 

Earlier, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who is the acting presidential spokesperson, said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will reassess the Alert Level 3 raised in light of increasing vaccination rates.

READ: IATF to reassess Alert Level 3 restrictions — Nograles

ATM

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: CHR, COVID-19 pandemic, Jacqueline de Guia, restrictions on those unvaccinated vs COVID-19, Siracusa Principles
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.