MANILA—The Philippines now has 17 million fully vaccinated workers against COVID-19, the Department of Labor and Employment said Wednesday, as the country ramps up inoculation in a bid to boost business activity.
Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said the vaccination rate among workers rose after the government held a mass vaccination drive against the coronavirus.
"Mula po sa 10 million prior to the 3-day vaccination po, tayo po ay nasa 17 million na po ang fully vaccinated na workers," she told TeleRadyo.
(From the 10 million prior to the 3-day vaccination, we now have 17 million fully vaccinated workers.)
But Tutay noted there are still many employees who have yet to receive the COVID-19 shots.
"Malaking bagay po ito pero kung titingnan mo po sa labor market ay marami pa po tayong kailangang mabakunahan," she said.
(This is a big thing but if you look at the labor market, we still need to vaccinate many others more.)
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed there are 43.83 million employed individuals in the country as of October 2021.
The government has required mandatory vaccination of eligible on-site workers in public and private sector in December.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated on-site employees will be required to undergo RT-PCR tests every 2 weeks at their expense.
In the interview, Tutay said DOLE is currently conducting a nationwide job fair for the agency's 88th founding anniversary.
The event, which offers 32,000 job openings, is held online and in a limited face-to-face capacity.
Local employment vacancies include production workers, customer representatives, sales associates, laborer, plumber, kitchen crew and cashier.
For overseas placement, the jobs being offered are for registered nurses, carpenters, welders and factory workers.
According to the PSA, the unemployment rate in the country fell to 7.4 percent in October, which means there are 3.5 million jobless Filipinos.
However, the underemployment rate climbed to 16.1 percent in October, from 14.2 percent in September. Underemployed refers to workers who already hold jobs but still seek additional jobs or working hours.