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Lady solon seeks mandatory Covid-19 vaccination

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San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida P. Robes on Wednesday filed a bill further easing Covid-19 vaccination rules by making it mandatory.

Under House Bill No. 10249 or An Act Providing for Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccine for All Filipino Citizens Eligible to Receive the Vaccine and Appropriating Funds, Covid-19 vaccines must be given to all Filipinos and residents of the Philippines who are eligible for it.

The bill also provides that the government shall fully subsidize all expenses for the Covid-19 vaccines. Private companies may also procure vaccines for their employees as long as they are given access to their employees.

Robes said the World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly declared that vaccines are one of the most effective tools for protecting people against COVID-19 and that it has postulated that it is not uncommon for governments and institutions to implement mandatory vaccination of Covid-19 and that it can be considered ethically justified to protect the health and well-being of the public.

She pointed out that the Philippines has also been implementing a mandatory vaccination program for infants and children. “We have Republic Act 10152, which is an act providing for the mandatory basic immunization services for infants and children, and Republic Act 7846, which requires compulsory immunization against Hepatitis-B for infants and children below eight years old. In the face of a worldwide pandemic that is ravaging our country, it is crucial to implement a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program for people who are eligible to get the vaccines to protect ourselves and our families but enable us to regain our economic foothold and resume our lives,” she said.

However, her bill exempts persons with conflicting religious beliefs or a medical condition that would make vaccination detrimental to their health as certified by a duly licensed physician.

Likewise, it provides an anti-discrimination clause that prohibits discrimination against those who refuse to get vaccinated for religious belief or health reasons or cause the loss of their employment or enrollment in any educational institution.

All those who have been fully vaccinated shall be given a Vaccine Pass as proof of their full vaccination status which may be used to access any public tourism resort, accommodation, assembly, or amusement center.

Those who have no valid reason to refuse vaccination shall be imposed a penalty of imprisonment of up to 30 days and/or a fine of P10,000.00.

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