The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) declared that it is illegal for companies to refuse unvaccinated workers to return to their work.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said this as he admitted it is “very possible” that some employers are not accepting workers who have not been vaccinated yet.

ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luiz, Jr.

“We are against it (banning unvaccinated from returning to work), that is against the law,” Ortiz-Luis stressed.

Ortiz-Luis, however, stressed that the problem is not on the “hesitancy” of some Filipinos to get vaccinated because there are still a lot of people lining up at vaccination centers. The real issue, he said, is there is “not enough vaccines, and that vaccines have not really reached to some local government units.”

“We will not run out of people to be vaccinated for the next several months,” he said. He pointed out that there are now vaccinated people who will be needing boosters because it has been more than six months since their first and second dose vaccines. In addition, vaccinations for children are also starting.

In fact, he said, the vaccines being ordered by the private sector under the Tripartite Agreement have been delayed.

With that, he refuted the claim of the government that vaccination in the National Capital Region has already reached over 70 percent, but rather 30 percent of population only. Ortiz-Luis explained that the over 70 percent vaccination rate as claimed by the government is based on the target vaccination population but not the entire population of the country.

“So, why discriminate those unvaccinated, why disallow those unvaccinated to return to work. It is not just constitutional issue but a moral one,” he said.

Instead, Ortiz-Luis urged government to strictly implement the minimum public health protocols, such as dividers in dining tables, social distancing, proper ventilation and sanitation because even those vaccinated can still be infected rather than forcing people to get vaccinated.

Source: Manila Bulletin (