(PNA File Photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte said employers have the right to refuse to hire unvaccinated applicants amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s legal for the employers not to accept people who are not vaccinated. Tama sila (They are right). I agree with them,” Duterte said in his weekly Talk to the People aired late Tuesday.

Duterte said employers are “just protecting their businesses and other people” against the threat of the dreaded virus.

“What could be the legal argument against it?” said Duterte, a lawyer and a former prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Duterte said he has instructed the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to further speed up the vaccination program and “do necessary actions to achieve the population protection before the end of the year.”

He then urged more Filipinos to get the chance to be protected from the disease.

Duterte noted that vaccines would help lessen the severe impacts of the Covid-19 infection.

He also lauded the successful implementation of pediatric vaccination.

“This will not only protect millions of children but hopefully help convince their parents and grandparents to have the vaccination if they’re not yet inoculated,” he said, reiterating that “the government cannot lose its focus especially now that the Covid-19 cases have decreased.”

The downtrend of the cases, he added, “is a good reason” to further scale up the country’s vaccination drive in a bid to prevent another surge.

The Philippines has so far administered a total of 64,947,366 doses with 29,809,085 individuals fully vaccinated. (PNA)