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Palace hopes Pinoys wonât be singled out in Hong Kong vaccination
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the equal protection clause, which is enshrined in the Philippines’ Bill of Rights, is already accepted in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
AFP/Alain Jocard

Palace hopes Pinoys won’t be singled out in Hong Kong vaccination

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 4, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday expressed hope that Filipino workers won’t be singled out in Hong Kong’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccine plan.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the equal protection clause, which is enshrined in the Philippines’ Bill of Rights, is already accepted in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“We hope our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) won’t be singled out although we recognize the sovereign prerogative to require the vaccination,” Roque said at a press briefing.

While he cited the Philippine Supreme Court decision that sustained the mandatory vaccination against smallpox in the early 1900s as part of the state’s police power, he noted that “even the exercise of police power must be done in a manner that everyone should be covered.”

Hong Kong has required all foreign domestic workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before their contracts can be renewed. There are about 370,000 Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. previously said this requirement “smacks of discrimination.”

Rolly Francia, Department of Labor and Employment information and publication service director, said DOLE is preparing for and monitoring the possible impact of the mandatory vaccination among Filipino workers in Hong Kong.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III expressed concern over the plans of the Hong Kong government, saying its “directive is not only discriminatory, (but also) imperils the deployment of OFWs and their job security.”

While DOLE previously called on foreign employers to ensure the vaccination of OFWs they hire, it said that the decision of whether to be vaccinated or not should be left to the workers. – Mayen Jaymalin

COVID-19 VACCINE OFW
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