Solons decry ‘no jab, no job’ policy of some companies


House leaders on Thursday expressed their opposition to a proposal that would make Covid-19 vaccination a prerequisite to reporting for work, saying such is not only illegal but also uncompassionate and borders on unconstitutionality.

Deputy Speaker and Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva and House Committee on Labor and Employment Chairman and 1PACMAN Party-list Rep. Enrico Pineda issued separate statements following recent reports of employers unlawfully withholding the salary of their unvaccinated employees.

“While it has been made clear by DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment] itself that ‘no vaccine, no pay’ is illegal, I would like to add that, more importantly, such policy is devoid of compassion. Depriving laborers of salary they rightfully earned with sweat and blood is a spit on the face of human dignity and the dignity of work. CIBAC condemns the unlawful and ungodly practice, which must be publicly censured and stopped at this early stage of its emergence among a few companies,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva acknowledged the necessity of vaccines in minimizing the impact of Covid-19 to the country’s pandemic-induced economic woes and health-care system overloading. However, he emphasized that the proper way of convincing more people to get jabbed with Covid-19 vaccines is not coercion but education.

“Vaccine mandates and other forms of coercion only engender vaccine suspicion and hesitancy. Let us not add fuel to the fire by resorting to tyrannical measures that impinge on people’s liberties,” the CIBAC lawmaker said.

Villanueva also highlighted past news reports in which throngs of people flocked to vaccination centers, even without appointment, wanting to get jabbed.

“Nineteen months into one of the longest series of lockdowns in the world, majority of Filipinos still find themselves struggling to achieve financial, psychological, and social equilibrium. May we as a nation collectively exercise greater levels of selflessness and compassion toward one another? May the challenges of the times drive us not to the realm of desperation and abuse of our fellowmen but toward the bettering of ourselves as compassionate neighbors to one another,” the Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness said.

For his part, Pineda also strongly opposed the policy of “no jab, no job” being implemented by some businesses.

“Although I am in favor of vaccination so that we can attain herd immunity, I don’t believe that it should be forced upon our people. Restricting access to a livelihood on the basis of one’s choice not to be vaccinated is violative of their basic right to choose, their right to free will,” he said.

Pineda said that neither the government nor an employer should be able to dictate what an individual must do to their bodies.

Image courtesy of Nonie Reyes

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply