DOLE to issue advisory banning employers to require vaccination

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FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 file photo, a health worker wearing a face mask and shield holds a sign as she and others call on the government to give them a vaccine with the safest, highest efficacy and effectivity during a a protest outside the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Philippines. The group is opposing a plan by the government to have health workers vaccinated with China's Sinovac. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday announced that they will issue an advisory on the issue of vaccination in workplaces early next week.

“We will issue an advisory, not an order on Monday. We will advise everyone that nobody can be forced to undergo vaccination without his or her consent and any policy that is requiring vaccination for work will be declared illegal,” he said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Bello said this is to make employers aware of this rule.

On the other hand, he urged workers to report to the department employers or companies that are requiring employees to get the vaccine before they will be allowed to enter the workplace.

“They can report it to our DOLE offices, we have city, municipal, provincial and regional offices and they can also call our hotlines: 1439 and 1438,” the Labor chief said.

Bello, however, said they have yet to receive any complaints from employees regarding the issue.

“We have not received any complaint yet. In fairness, the president of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines had said they will not implement such because they know that it has no legal basis and you cannot force the workers to get vaccinated, we don’t have the vaccines yet,” he said.

He, however, urged Filipinos to get vaccinated.

“I’m asking our fellow Filipinos to get vaccinated once the vaccines are available. The best way for us to ensure our return to normalcy,” he added.

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