'Discrimination': Employers group rejects proposal for unvaccinated to stay home

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2021 10:31 AM

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MANILA - One of the country's most influential business groups rejected Friday a proposal that only vaccinated people should be given more mobility as government considers granular lockdowns in Metro Manila.

Allowing only those vaccinated to go out of their homes would be discriminatory, said Sergio Ortiz-Luis, president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP).

"Do not discriminate with the vaccinated and unvaccinated. If they can work, if they're APOR (authorized persons allowed outside) and allowed to go out they shouldn't be discriminated. I agree there should be certain incentives," he told ANC's Headstart.

"We are just saying as much as possible if we have to go to GCQ you have to allow the most number of people to work and try to control the spread of the pandemic. But you have no choice. Otherwise you cannot feed them so you have to allow as many as possible to go to work."

Joey Concepcion, presidential adviser on entrepreneurship, had proposed that those vaccinated against COVID-19 should be given more mobility and incentives.

He said only those who have received the jab should be allowed to go to restaurants, salons, and "business establishments with higher risk," citing that the "unvaccinated are the ones filling up the hospitals."

"I think the key point here is how we open the economy safely, we can’t lock down forever. Who will suffer? The Filipino people. Not only will local governments have no more revenues, the national government will eventually go bankrupt, because where are we going to get the tax revenue for government to be able to pay its debts?" he said in the same ANC interview.

"In other words how do we save lives and livelihoods. The problem is the unvaccinated has to be vaccinated."

Concepcion cited Cebu City, which he said has implemented the proposal.

"We cannot lock down both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Let's protect the unvaccinated until they get their vaccines," he said.

Concepcion added that this would be focused on the capital region, which has so far fully vaccinated half of its target population, while 80 percent have received their first dose.

"With the breakthroughs in the vaccine, we cannot achieve herd immunity. You have to vaccinate everybody for everybody's safety," he said.

Some 15.8 million people nationwide are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 while 21.3 million have yet to receive their second dose as of Wednesday, according to government data.