PNP eyes ‘no vax, no deployment’ for cops

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2021 05:19 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2021 06:01 PM

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Courtesy of the Philippine National Police

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing the removal of unvaccinated policemen from field duty, its chief Dionardo Carlos said Monday.

“The soonest that we have crafted that policy, then we will implement it. Kasi, directed kami ng (Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19). Number one, why are we not going to deploy them? Because we do not want to put them at risk,” he said in a press briefing.

A memorandum circular will be released "in the coming days... to spell out the guidelines in the implementation of the 'no jab, no duty' policy," he said.

"As public servants and officers of the law, it is our responsibility to uphold public welfare at all times and lead by example in fulfilling the citizen's duty to promote public health and safety, as vaccination is not anymore a matter of personal choice but a matter of public interest for the common good," Carlos said.

The police chief explained that those covered by the policy will "still deliver police services" and not really be out of work. "Probably, admin (duties). Ililipat lang natin sila para hindi natin sila mai-put at risk,” he said.

Speaking at the same press briefing, PBGen. Antonino Cirujales of the PNP Health Service said 1,808 cops remain unvaccinated as of Dec. 6. They account for less than one percent of the entire PNP force, said Carlos. 

Cirujales said 299 of them are citing medical reasons, while 194 say they have allergies.

He added that 393 female police officers have also not yet received the jab because they are pregnant, and 63 have yet to get their COVID-19 shot because they are lactating.

Cirujales noted that 69 policemen are not getting the jab due to religious beliefs. Nine cops, meanwhile, are still under quarantine, so they cannot get the jab.

The rest, he said, did not disclose their reasons for not getting vaccinated in the latest survey conducted by the PNP. 

Carlos said they will still continue to encourage unvaccinated cops to get their jab against COVID-19. 

“For those who have not given the reason, eh, kung justifiable, then we allow them not to be vaccinated,” Carlos said. “But we always want to encourage them.”

“The last one I read was about, less than one percent na lang sila. So alamin namin bakit hindi kayo nagpapa-vaccinate. Because this will hamper their performance of duty. 'Di ba, kailangan ang effort ng Philippine National Police is to protect them through the vaccination.”

“If their reason is not acceptable, then we will ask them [as] to why. And then… we put them where they are not at risk. But we will continue to encourage them.”

ABS-CBN News’ vaccine tracker says that as of Dec. 4, the government has achieved 49.24 percent of its targeted 77.1 million people for complete vaccination, more than 9 months since its vaccine rollout.

The government is set to hold another national vaccination drive on December 15-17 after government managed to inoculate nearly 10 million the initial run last week.