DND chief supports mandatory Covid-19 vaccination

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MANILA – According to Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday, he favors the mandatory vaccination of Filipinos against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Yes, it should be mandatory. Everyone should contribute to the health of the community. Those unvaccinated are vulnerable (to) getting the virus and getting seriously sick,” Lorenzana, who is also chairperson of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, told reporters when asked on his opinion on the measure.

In addition to burdening the state through hospitalization, Lorenzana claims that unvaccinated people contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

While acknowledging that compulsory vaccination without an enabling law is difficult, the DND chief stated that the government can impose restrictions on the unvaccinated.

They are barred from visiting public places unless they have an updated RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test.

Mahirap kung walang batas (It is difficult without an enabling law) However, we can impose restrictions to unvaccinated people, like disallow(ing) from entering public places (malls, restaurants, stadiums) unless they have an RT-PCR taken not more than 72 hours, (while) workers (who refused to be vaccinated) will also (be required to have an) RT-PCR every week at their expense to be able to go to work,” Lorenzana said.

Apart from these precautions, unvaccinated individuals may also be barred from traveling.

Vaccination of eligible employees undertaking on-site work in both the public and private sectors will be required beginning Wednesday in places where vaccine supplies are sufficient.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in Resolution No. 148-B, provides measures to increase demand for Covid-19 vaccinations but except when all the onsite employees/workers of an establishment are required under the Alert Level System Guidelines to be fully vaccinated.

Lorenzana said he had no idea if President Rodrigo R. Duterte can issue an Executive Order (EO), but local government units (LGUs) can create their own ordinances concerning forced vaccinations.

“I don’t know if PRRD will issue an EO. But (Department of Interior and Local Government) Secretary (Eduardo) Año said the LGUs can make their own ordinances. That would be the best solution now. Example: (Narvacan) Mayor Chavit Singson (don’t) allow unvaccinated people from the barangays to come to town except to get vaccinated first. He also requires everyone in the Poblacion to get inoculated,” he added.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.