By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday warned employers that it is illegal to implement a “no vaccine, no work” policy.
Bello, who was in Bacolod City yesterday to lead DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program at the Negros Residences, said vaccination is currently not mandatory.
“Hindi mo pwedeng pilitin ang isang tao kung ayaw magpabakuna,” Bello said.
He said we all live in a democratic society, wherein every person has his or her own freedom of choice.
However, Bello said the “no vaccine, no work” policy can only be implemented if a law is passed wherein everyone would be required to get the vaccine.
As to the resolution issued by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF), Bello explained the policy is limited to three workplaces which are restaurants, hotels and wellness industries such as spas or hair salons.
Bello gave an example wherein restaurant owners can operate al fresco dining at 50 percent capacity as long as its employees are all vaccinated against COVID-19.
The labor secretary further added that restaurant owners have the power not to let unvaccinated employees into the restaurant’s premises due to the IATF’s policy, however, their status as employees must still be maintained./DGB, WDJ