PACE backs mandatory vaccination for NegOcc Capitol workers, NACUSIP says it’s illegal

BACOLOD CITY–The Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE), the union of provincial government employees of Negros Occidental, supports the mandatory vaccination of employees of the Capitol.

In a statement sent to media, Renelo Lastierre, PACE president, said, “PACE welcomes vaccination for government workers as a preventive measure to protect the health of the workers.”

“In these worst (sic) times, it’s better to be prepared. However, respect for the right to life as a Costitutional mandate must equated with safety of the many. Every person must be responsible for the collective protection with due respect to liberty, freedom from coercion, discrimination, and religious belief,” Lastierre expounded, adding, “Measures calculated for the common good must be the essence of governmental policies, without which our very existence will be at stake.”

On the contrary, the National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIP) slammed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on its “cowardly response” to an inter-agency order to employers “to require their employees to be vaccinated”.

The resolutions issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), through Resolutions No. 148 and No. 149 dated Nov. 12 and Nov. 18, respectively, have ordered all establishments and employers to require their employees who must report in person to be vaccinated.

“However, the Department of Labor and Employment in a press briefing pronouncement indicated that DOLE will no longer issue a Labor Advisory on the IATF Policy.  This cowardly response by DOLE by not issuing a Labor Advisory on the IATF Resolutions that will adversely affect the security of tenure, income, and rights of workers to be gainfully employed is a clear manifestation that the Labor department is not 100% or all-out on this drastic and unconscionable policy of the IATF,” the statement issued by NACUSIP president Roland de la Cruz said.

“The unavailability of vaccines, religious beliefs, the incoherent local government vaccine policies, as well as the failure of government to clearly send the message of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination to workers and the Filipino population in general are the major reasons why many Filipinos are unvaccinated at this point in time. Refusing unvaccinated workers to enter worksite premises is patently illegal and marcosian,” the statement added.

“We are warning the Department of Labor and Employment and the Civil Service Commission that illegal dismissal cases will flood your offices as well as notice of strikes and work stoppages will be implemented nationwide unless this inhumane, dictatorial, anti-worker and anti-Filipino policy of the IATF is withdrawn,” the NACUSIP statement also said.

For his part, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, after saying on Monday, November 29, that he will check how many Capitol employees are still unvaccinated, announced he will issue an executive order to mandate compulsory vaccination if dialogue won’t work. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)

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