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A member of the House of Representatives is proposing mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for all Filipinos eligible to receive the vaccines.

San Jose del Monte City Rep. Rida Robes filed on September 20 House Bill No. 10249, which seeks to mandate that COVID-19 vaccines must be administered to all Filipinos and residents of the Philippines who are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), Robes said it is not uncommon for governments and institutions to implement mandatory vaccination of COVID-19 and that it can be considered “ethically justified” to protect the health and well-being of the public.

She cited that the Philippines has been implementing a mandatory basic immunization for infants and children through Republic Act 10152.

“In the face of a worldwide pandemic that is ravaging our country, it is crucial to implement a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program for people who are eligible to get the vaccines in order to protect ourselves and our families but enable us to regain our economic foothold and resume our lives,” she said.

The bill provides that all expenses for the COVID-19 vaccines shall be fully subsidized by the government.

Private companies may also procure vaccines for their employees as long as they are given for free to their employees.

Robles said her bill exempts persons with conflicting religious beliefs or with medical conditions that would make vaccination detrimental to his or her health as certified by a duly licensed physician.

The bill provides an anti-discrimination clause that prohibits discrimination against those who refuse to get vaccinated for religious belief or health reasons or cause the loss of their employment or enrollment in any educational institution.

All those who have been fully vaccinated shall be given a Vaccine Pass as proof of their full vaccination status which may be used to access any public tourism resort, accommodation, assembly, or amusement center.

Those who have no valid reason to refuse vaccination shall be imposed a penalty of imprisonment of up to 30 days and/or a fine of PHP10,000. (PNA)