Labor group calls on gov’t to make vaccination accessible to workers

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021   •   220

MANILA, Philippines — A labor group is asking the government to make vaccination accessible to workers.

Associated Labor Union-trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said about 200,000 to 300,000 workers still remain unvaccinated in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

“Nauuso ngayon iyong walk-in vaccine hopping. Ito yung mga manggagawang desperado na nagtatrabaho pero dahil kulang yung vaccines doon sa mga probinsya nila o sa kanilang siyudad kung saan sila nakatira, eh desperado silang naghahanap ng mga walk-in sa NCR o sa karatig na probinsya,” ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.

The group said that those in the provinces suffer the long wait for vaccines unlike residents in Metro Manila.

They added that even if the local government units (LGUs) in the said region have opened their vaccinations to non-residents, non-NCR residents are still not among their priority.

Thus, the group is calling on the government to bring the vaccinators to their workplaces especially now that most industries require workers to be fully vaccinated.

“Dapat siguro bakit hindi pumunta yung mga vaccinator sa mga workplaces? Imbes na mga manggagawa ang maghanap-hanap kung saan, dapat lahat ng businesses o business establishment sa Metro Manila ay puntahan ng mga vaccinators,” Tanjusay said.

Meanwhile, the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) is requesting for additional supply of COVID -19 vaccines and the construction of additional storage facilities.

Marinduque governor and LPP president, Presbitero Velasco said, “Tingin ko yung government kung may pondo pa, they should provide ultra low freezers para pati naman yung malalayong LGUs at yung mga lower rank LGUs ay mabigyan naman ng magagandan bakuna.”

For its part, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has begun vaccination programs for construction and factory workers after the national government provided them with 452,000 doses of vaccines.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III stressed that workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid further crippling the economy.

“Kasi kung hindi mo bakunahan yung mga workers natin, mapipilay yung ating mga negosyo. Ngayon pag napilay yung negosyo, pilay yung ating ekonomiya,” Bello said.

In the coming week, DOLE has scheduled a roll out of vaccination in certain provinces with a specific number of COVID vaccines doses:

Malolos, Bulacan – 1,000 (Sept. 23, 2021)
Bataan – 1,000 (Sept. 24, 2021)
Dumaguete – 1,000 (Sept. 24, 2021)
Cebu – 5,000 (Sept 24, 2021)

MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte wants LGU officials to convince constituents to get vaccinated

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged local government officials to ramp up their respective COVID-19 vaccination programs.

“I urge LGUs to come up with the most systematic and efficient way of finding out who among your constituents have not yet vaccinated. Please do everything to convince them to get vaccinated,” he said during his weekly public address.

Duterte reported that as of October 24, the country has administered 55.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, where around 30 million were given as first doses and 25 million as second doses.

He added that the national government aims to fully vaccinate 50 million citizens by the end of the year.

“We also need to ramp up vaccination rate in various LGUs in order to reach our target of inoculating 50 million fully-vaccinated individuals by the end of the year,” Duterte said.

The president added that vaccine supply allocated for far-flung provinces must not expire and should preserve its integrity.

” Yung mga bakuna na sana umabot na doon sa pinakamalayong lugar and the provincial, city, and
municipal health officials will take over. Ang concern ko lang naman is that they would be able to preserve the integrity of the vaccines. That is very important. Ibig sabihin na hindi expired, walang sira, hindi ma-contaminate and all,” he said. AAC

Business recovery very likely as restrictions ease — employers group

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is confident that businesses will be able to recover soon as alert level restrictions begin to ease in selected areas in the country.

ECOP said that business owners are seeing gradual recovery from losses as protocols to counter the spread of COVID-19 relax.

“Kapag nagnonormal yung restrictions mag-uumpisa nang kumita ang mga iyan,” said ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

Ortiz-Luis added that it is now time for the government to allow companies to operate with a larger percentage of their workforce to help them recover.

He said all it takes for them is to implement stricter health protocols in their areas of employment.

Employers must also not make vaccination status a basis for accepting employees returning for work.

“Kapag tinanong mo meron din ilan-ilang nagpa-positve sa workplace eh. Pero kapag ininspeksiyon mo saan nakuha, hindi naman doon sa workplace eh. Nakuha sa paghanap ng sasakyan, pagpila sa kung ano-anong pinipilahan,” Ortiz-Luis said.

“Napakaraming pila: pila sa ayuda, pila sa COMELEC, pila sa paghanap ng sasakyan, paglalakad, pagtitipon, paghahanap ng pagkain. Doon nakukuha. Hindi sa workplace. Bakit hindi mo papasukin?” he added.

However, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stressed that vaccination, alongside the efficient implementation of quarantine restrictions, is still the key to economic recovery.

“The continued decline in COVID-19  infection cases owing to the speedier COVID vaccine rollout and more effective granular lockdown will help underpin the economy’s gradual reopening,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Currently, the National Capital Region is under Alert Level 3 until the end of October, wherein several business establishments have been allowed to operate with limited capacity. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Labor group seeks probe on ‘no vaccine-no salary’ policy

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALO-TUCP) is seeking an investigation into the alleged “no vaccine-no salary” scheme imposed by some employers on their workers.

The group said they already forwarded the matter to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the agency to launch its investigation as the number of employees complaining of not receiving their salaries is increasing.

“Nagsusumbong sa amin yung mga manggagawa at sinasabi nila hindi raw sila pinapasahod at hindi ibinibigay ang kanilang sahod hanggang hindi sila nagpapakita ng complete vaccination card dun sa kanilang employer,” said Alan Tanjusay, ALO-TUCP spokesperson.

Tanjusay said that aside from being a violation of labor laws, the alleged scheme is a violation of human rights just because an employee is not yet vaccinated.

“Ito ay ipinagbabawal, ito ay isang diskriminasyon,” Tanjusay insisted.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, meanwhile, said they are just awaiting the details of the complaint, such as the name and other specifics of the concerned company, for them to make the necessary action.

“Alam naman natin na yang policy na yan ay labag sa batas. Under the law hindi mo pwedeng ano i-hold ang sweldo ng employee mo unless there is a legal basis or legal clause. Eh yung hindi po pagba-vaccine o pagbabakuna hindi yan legal basis to withhold the salary of the employees,” Bello said.

Tanjusay, on the other hand, urged the DOLE to issue an order that will stop the no vaccine-no salary scheme.

“DOLE must issue an advisory or guidelines to avoid the spread of ‘no vaccine, no salary’ scheme,” he said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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