“No vaccine, no work” policy, illegal–Bello

PHOTO CAPTION: Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III, seen here with Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer (left) and Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson (right), at a press conference on Tuesday, November 9 during his visit to Bacolod City./iNews

BACOLOD CITY–Labor Secretary Sylvestre Bello III warned employers it is illegal to implement a “no vaccine, no work” policy.

Bello, who was in Bacolod City on Tuesday to lead DOLE’s TUPAD program at the Negros Residences hotel, said vaccination is currently not mandatory in the Philippines.

“Hindi mo pwedeng pilitin ang isang tao kung ayaw magpabakuna,” Bello said, adding, “We all live in a democratic society, wherein every person has freedom of choice.”

However, he acknowledged that such a policy can be implemented if a law were passed to mandate vaccination.

As for the resolution issued by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF), Bello explained that the policy is limited only to three workplaces: restaurants, hotels, and wellness industries such as spas or hair salons.

“With this policy, a restaurant will be allowed al fresco dining at 50 percent capacity if all its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.

But he cautioned that, while the IATF’s policy lends restaurateurs the power not to allow unvaccinated workers entry into the establishment, their status as employees should be maintained. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)

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