The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Thursday there are over 32 million workers in the country that have received vaccines against Covid-19.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said there are some 32.3 million employees that have been vaccinated either with their first or second doses. The number represents about 70 percent to 80 percent of formal and informal sector workers.
“At the company level, about 90 to 95 percent of workers have already been vaccinated based on our consultations with a number of partner private sector employers,” he said in a virtual forum.
The DOLE chief also recommended to the government to shoulder the cost of Covid-19 tests of workers who have yet to be inoculated.
“With the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) requirement for those unvaxxed to get RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test before reporting to work, I have recommended to the President that the cost be shouldered by the government,” Bello said.
He said a huge budget estimated at least P1 billion is needed to achieve such a proposal.
“For every 1 million unvaccinated workers, it would cost the government about P2-3 billion (assuming the cost is about P2,000 to P3,000),” Bello added.
Earlier, the IATF-EID issued a resolution requiring workers on onsite work to be vaccinated.
As for unvaccinated employees, they have to undergo RT-PCR testing at least once every two weeks to go to work. The worker will shoulder the cost of the tests.