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Employees can never be forced to get COVID-19 vaccine —Bello

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Saturday said employees can’t be forced to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In an interview on Dobol B TV, he said the “no vaccine, no work policy” being spread over social media is fake information.

“Unang-una, hindi mo pwede pilitin ang isang tao na magpabakuna. Bawal 'yan. Hindi mo pwedeng pilitin, hindi mo pwedeng gamitin [ang policy] na hindi ka pwedeng magtrabaho pag wala kang bakuna. Bawal ‘yan,” Bello, a lawyer himself, said.

(First of all, you cannot force a person to get vaccinated. That’s not allowed. You cannot impose a policy that will prohibit unvaccinated individuals from working.)

“Pangalawa, bakit mo pipilitin ang tao na magpabakuna e wala pa naman tayong sobrang supply ng bakuna?” he pointed out furthre.

(Secondly, why would you force the public to get vaccinated when vaccine supply is not in excess?)

While COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory, Bello urged the public, as well as the workers in various sectors, to get vaccinated once the jabs are available.

On Thursday, the Department of Health issued an advisory reminding employers that requiring COVID-19 vaccination among their workers is prohibited.

The Labor department's Advisory No. 1 series of 2021 states that all employers can only encourage their workers to get COVID-19 jabs but they cannot require them to do so.

Under Republic Act No. 11525 or COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, vaccine cards are not considered as additional requirement for employment. —LBG, GMA News