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House panel renews call to defer ‘no jab, no job’

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
House panel renews call to defer âno jab, no jobâ
The committee on labor chaired by 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Eric Pineda reiterated its recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to suspend Resolutions 148-B and 149 despite the pendency of court proceedings regarding the legality of the resolutions.
STAR / Boy Santos, File

MANILA, Philippines — A House panel has renewed its call for the government’s pandemic task force to defer the “no jab, no job” policy, which requires COVID-19 vaccination for on-site workers.

The committee on labor chaired by 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Eric Pineda reiterated its recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to suspend Resolutions 148-B and 149 despite the pendency of court proceedings regarding the legality of the resolutions.

“I am hoping that the IATF will find it in their heart to suspend the ‘no jab, no job’ policy. Let’s be considerate of our workers, especially this holiday season when people need work more than ever,” Pineda said in a statement.

The resolutions are subject of a petition in court for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction.

Pineda reiterated the panel’s position that the IATF needs to revisit the policy to ensure that the rights of workers are protected.

Based on IATF-EID Resolution 148-B issued on Nov. 11, on-site workers are required to be fully vaccinated.

Under the resolution, on-site workers who remain unvaccinated should not be terminated but must take RT-PCR tests regularly at their own expense.

IATF Resolution 149 states that partially vaccinated employees in the public and private sector tasked to do on-site work need not undergo regular RT-PCR test at their own expense, as long as their second dose is not yet due, pursuant to the interval prescribed for the brand of vaccine received as first dose.

4 M workers get aid

Meanwhile, over four million workers affected by the pandemic have received financial aid from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reported that a total of 4.707 million workers, including those employed overseas, benefitted from P26.1-billion aid under the DOLE’s social protection program.

Of the number of workers who received assistance, Bello said 1.993 million were informal workers while 2.173 million were formal workers.

“Formal workers, including those in the tourism industry and education sector, received financial assistance amounting to P10.894 billion,” the labor chief said.

The DOLE also distributed P5.487 billion in financial aid to 540,876 overseas Filipino workers.

According to Bello, the DOLE would continue implementing social amelioration programs to help workers recover from the pandemic. – Mayen Jaymalin

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