Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday concurred with President Rodrigo Duterte’s position that would-be employers may legally choose job applicants who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“The President is correct. Employers have the prerogative to select whoever they wish to employ on the basis of their own standards. There is no employer-employee relationship at that point,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

However, Guevarra said the law presently prohibits making vaccination as a requirement for continued employment.

“But if they (employers) have already hired and signed up someone, they cannot say, ‘Okay, you are already hired. but you must get vaccinated.’ that is the compulsion that is not allowed under RA (Republic Act) 11595,” he said.

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The country’s vaccine stockpile has so far reached over 113 million doses, with officials expressing optimism that the aim to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the target population will be achieved by the end of the year.

At the start of the week, the Philippines has so far administered 64,195,936 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including 29,477,961 who are fully vaccinated. (PNA)

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