THE Department of Labor and Employment-Davao Region (Dole-Davao) urged employers in the private sector to provide privileges and even incentives for workers set to be vaccinated.
Dole-Davao Assistant Regional Director Lawyer Jason Balais, in a virtual presser on July 22, 2021, called on employers to provide transportation for their employees or even charge the day’s leave of absence from its paid incentive leave in order to encourage more of their employees to get inoculated.
“If they can bring their workers to the vaccination site and have it on official time that would be a big encouragement for the workers,” Balais said.
The Dole official said employers should not deduct the salary of employees in times of their work absence.
Vaccination for the A4 Priority Group or the public and private workers has already started in Davao Region in June this year.
Under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 117, those eligible for vaccination include private-sector workers required to be physically present at their workplace outside their residences; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities; and informal sector workers and self-employed who may be required to work outside their residences; and those working in private households.
The Dole official also announced that it has started integrating the vaccination incentive into its livelihood program.
“For those who need a capital for livelihood, we are offering limited slots for a bicycle livelihood showcase who will get P25,000 worth of assistance which includes the purchase for a bicycle,” he said.
One requirement to avail of this livelihood package is for a fully vaccinated A4 worker.
He said the agency hopes to offer more slots to cover more workers and encourage more workers in the region to get vaccinated.
Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said it is the responsibility of the employers to allow their employees to be vaccinated during office hours, but this will depend on the internal arrangement of the company.
“What we can do, with this po is to really arrange that with their employer, kay ano mana responsibility po yan ng employer natin to have, to let them be vaccinated (it is the responsibility of the employer to let them be vaccinated),” Schlosser said.
She added that it will not take long for them to line up at vaccination sites.
She also said some vaccination sites still conduct vaccine rollouts on weekends to cater to those employees who cannot make it during office hours.
Despite some appeals from Dabawenyos, the Davao City government is not yet planning to set up night vaccination exclusively for workers under the A4 priority group.
Schlosser said they are unable to conduct a night vaccination due to the limited manpower to supervise it.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also said the city cannot set up night vaccination because it cannot conduct 24-hour shifting for its health workers. She also said that the city’s public transportation is limited at night, especially during curfew hours. (With reports from Ralph Lawrence G. Llemit)