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'No vaccine, no work' policy illegal, says Bello

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday described as illegal the reported "no vaccine, no work" policy of some business establishments.

"Yung no vaccine, no work, illegal 'yan, bawal yan," Bello said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

Bello said workers cannot be forced to get inoculated against COVID-19 if they don't want to. He also said a "no vaccine, no work" policy could be considered as "discrimination."

"Kaya wala pong ganyang patakaran. Kung sino man 'yung employer na gumagawa niyan, alam niya na mali ang ginagawa niya," he said.

Bello also pointed out that at present, the country does not have enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate workers.

The "no vaccine, no work" policy came to light after some workers in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sector informed the Associated Labor Union (ALU) about it.

The ALU said most of the complaints it received came from hotel, restaurant and BPO workers.

"Meron tayong tinatawag na Anti-Discrimination Law. Yung discrimination ay iba-ibang klaes na porma at uri ngunit sa aming paningin, isa itong uri ng discrimination," said Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson for ALU-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, in Chino Gaston's report on State of the Nation.

"So kung mayroong magrereklamong manggagawa, tutulungan namin magsampa ng kaso," he added.

The Philippines started its vaccination program on Monday using Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine donated by China. —KBK, GMA News