THE Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PamCham) on Saturday, October 23, 2021, gave its assurance that there will be "no discrimination" against unvaccinated workers within the ranks of its hundreds of members, which employ hundreds of thousands of employees in various businesses.
The assurance came from PamCham president Nestor Mangio, after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued a resolution on the alert level system, which Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said is a legal basis to fire or withhold the salaries of employees who are not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The resolution, particularly on Alert Level 3, mandates that only companies or establishments with fully vaccinated employees may expand their operational capacities.
Pampanga is not included in areas under the alert level system, but the chamber president stressed that it nevertheless encourages vaccination for all its members to sustain recovery of the local economy and avoid discrimination in any form.
"PamCham assures the employees of its registered members that there will be no discrimination against unvaccinated workers and that they could go on working provided health protocols in their areas are strictly complied with. But PamCham emphasizes that we strongly urge them to get vaccinated for their own and co-workers' protection," he said.
Mangio told SunStar Pampanga that PamCham has already vaccinated 90 percent of its members' workers and that it continues to muster its resources to reach the 100 percent full vaccination by the end of the year.
"Vaccination is the foremost key in ensuring economic recovery. Having our workers vaccinated means protecting themselves, their families and co-workers so that they can continue with their livelihood and the industries operating. Rest assured, PamCham's stand is no discrimination against unvaccinated workers and that we will have vaccinated as soon as possible," he said.
“Because now, there is an obligation on the part of the employer na dapat vaccinated ang mga empleyado niya (that employees should be vaccinated), so he can require yung mga empleyado na magpabakuna (employees to be vaccinated) because now, there is a legal basis,” Bello said in a television interview.
Under Alert Level 3, establishments are allowed to operate at 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity regardless of vaccination status, provided that all employees of these establishments are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Businesses that are allowed to operate under Alert Level 3 are venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions and parties; restaurants and other food services; personal care services, gyms, spas and other leisure facilities; amusement parks; recreational venues like internet cafes, bowling alleys, billiard halls and swimming pools; tourist attractions including galleries and museums; cinemas; film, music, and television production; limited face-to-face classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education; and licensure exams administered by government agencies.
For Alert Level 2, the same businesses and activities above are allowed to operate, with the addition of funfairs/peryas or kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playrooms and kiddie rides; and entertainment venues like karaoke bars and concert halls.
Under Alert Level 3 until the end of October are Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Siquijor, Davao City and Davao del Norte.
Under Alert Level 2 are Batangas, Quezon Province, Lucena City, Bohol, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Cebu Province, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental.
Negros Oriental and Davao Occidental have been placed under Alert Level 4, the strictest level. (JTD)