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Unvaxxed Negros gov’t workers to face testing costs

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Vaccinate or undergo RT-PCR tests regularly at your own expense.

This was stipulated in memorandums issued by Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. and Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo, as both ordered the mandatory vaccination of their respective employees.

Escalante, in his memorandum issued on November 25, also required Cadiz City employees and consultants to pass their vaccination cards or certificates to their respective department heads or supervisors before November 29 of this year.

Starting December 1 all unvaccinated city employees will be required to submit a negative RT- PCR test or rapid antigen test every week at their own expense.  Failing to do so, Escalante, who already recovered from the COVID-19 infection, said they will be marked as absent until he or she is able to submit the requirement.

Starting December 15, Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo, in his issued memorandum, said that unvaccinated employees will be required to present negative RT-PCR test results, every 15 days at their own expense, in compliance with the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 148-B, Series of 2021 dated November 11, 2021.

This also developed as Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson called on all mayors in the province to urge their employees to have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19.

When asked if he will also implement the same policy at the provincial government which has more than 3,000 employees, Lacson said he will check first if how many more employees who have not yet vaccinated.

Renelo Lastierre, president of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees, yesterday said that they are supporting the call for provincial government workers to be vaccinated.

In fact, he added, that majority of Capitol workers have already been vaccinated, with a small remaining percentage have yet to do so, because of their medical conditions.

An alliance that monitors COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the country initiated an online petition against the mandatory jabs for onsite workers.

Bantay Bakuna yesterday denounced the new Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 148-B, where workers are required to be inoculated or to undergo RT-PCR tests regularly at their own expense.

The provisions in the resolution will take effect on December 1.

Making vaccination a requirement to workers puts them at risk of unemployment and dismissal during an economic crisis, Bantay Bakuna said in a statement it issued.

Escalante, on the other hand, said that Cadiz City government consultants who fail to submit vaccination cards will not be able to receive their honorariums, until they comply the issued memorandum, he added.

All officials and employees of national government agencies operating in Cadiz City have not been spared also in the issued memorandum of Escalante, as they also ordered to submit their cards before November 29.

Otherwise they will not be allowed to enter the premises of the city hall or other local government unit buildings to render their official duties effective on December 1, Escalante said.*

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