Inhuman: TUCP urges swift action on reported no vaccine, no salary schemes

from October 17, 2021 01:00 am to October 17, 2021 01:00 am

MANILA, Philippines — A labor coalition condemned Sunday what it called the "inhuman and illegal" imposition of a "no vaccine, no salary" scheme by some employers and urged the labor department to take action.

In a statement, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said that some employers have reportedly withheld the salary of unvaccinated employees until they can show vaccination cards that prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"The TUCP strongly condemns workplace arm-twisting being done by these employers. This is clearly an act of reprehensible discrimination and harassment imposed on helpless workers," said Rep. Raymond Mendoza (TUCP party-list).

According to the lawmaker, workers from different enterprises have reported being deprived of their salaries until they showed vaccination cards proving they are fully vaccinated.

The same workers sought the TUCP's assistance to intervene on their behalf for fear of reprisals, of being singled out, or even losing their jobs if they go public with their complaints.

"We warn employers that such a scheme to compel workers to get vaccinated is contrary and unlawful pursuant to Article 116 of the Labor Code and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment," Mendoza said.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is highly encouraged but is not yet mandatory since Congress has yet to pass legislation for it. Although President Rodrigo Duterte has hinted at requiring everyone to get vaccinated, the Palace said this week that a vaccine mandate might not be released any time soon.

"Because I think the level of individuals who want to be vaccinated is already very high so maybe we don't need it for now," the president's spokesperson said.

The TUCP statement comes after the Department of Labor and Employment also issued Labor Advisory No. 03-21 which prohibits compelled vaccination, saying:

"Covered establishments and employers shall endeavor to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. However, any employee who refuses or fails to be vaccinated shall not be discriminated against in terms of tenure, promotion, training, pay, and other benefits, among others, or terminated from employment. No vaccine, no work policy shall not be allowed."

Around 300 firms have moved to procure vaccines for their employees although most employers have relied on the rollout of the government's vaccination program.

More than 23 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to government data. The Palace said earlier in the week that some 7.57 million, or 77.53\% , of the eligible population of Metro Manila are now fully vaccinated.

Another 8.92 million or 91.25\% have received a first dose.


While Metro Manila is the economic and financial center, many workers live outside the capital.



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