BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer said yesterday he does not believe that making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory is a form of human rights violation.
If there is a human rights violation, there should be harm to an individual, Ferrer said, stressing that vaccinating a person is a form of protection against the pandemic.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. had earlier filed House Bill No. 9252, that seeks to amend the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 to make mandatory the inoculation of individuals “as may be determined” by the Department of Health.
“It will be tragic if we have safe and effective vaccines available but people refuse to take them,” Barzaga said in the bill’s explanatory note.
The measure, however, exempts “persons with medical conditions” as determined by the DOH, or by a licensed medical doctor.
The DOH clarified that vaccination is not mandatory, although the government highly encourages the public to get vaccinated and be protected against the disease.
“If you are protected, I don’t think it is a form of human rights violation,” Ferrer said. To step up the vaccination program in Negros Occidental, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said that a simultaneous mass vaccination will be held in all 31 local government units of the province today and tomorrow.*