On-site and transport workers are now required to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang announced on Friday.
This developed after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved several measures to ramp up the national Covid-19 vaccination drive, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
Roque said the latest directive for the mandatory inoculation of on-site and transport workers will take effect on December 1.
“In compliance with the directives of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Inter-Agency Task Force approved measures to employ a whole-of-government solution to increase demand for Covid-19 vaccination,” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said.
Roque said all public and private employers whose establishments are located in areas with “sufficient” Covid-19 vaccine supply must vaccinate eligible employees tasked to do on-site work.
He, however, clarified that employees who are still unvaccinated would not be fired but are required to take either reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test or antigen test “at their own expense.”
“However, eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated but they shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense,” Roque said.
Eligible workers belonging to the road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors are likewise mandated to be fully vaccinated “as a condition to continue their operations”, Roque said.
“All workers to be vaccinated during work hours shall not be considered absent upon sufficient proof of a confirmed vaccination schedule,” he said. “Accordingly, only the presentation of a medical clearance issued by a government health office, or birth certificate, as the case may be, shall serve as sufficient and valid proof of ineligibility for vaccination.”
Roque said public and private establishments may also “validly” refuse entry or deny service to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals.
“Front-line and emergency services, on the other hand, shall continue to render assistance to all persons, regardless of vaccination status,” he said.
Roque said all local government units are “strongly” enjoined to issue orders or ordinances that will provide incentives for fully-vaccinated individuals and direct business establishments to require proof of vaccination before individuals or entities may undertake or qualify for certain activities.
He added that all government agencies are likewise encouraged to implement measures prioritizing fully-vaccinated individuals availing of government programs and services.