GenSan residents file complaint vs. IATF over mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 13) — Five residents from General Santos City filed a complaint against some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force over a policy that requires onsite workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The complainants said IATF officials resorted to coercion for issuing a resolution that requires employees to get vaccinated or undergo regular RT-PCR test at their expense. They added that employees must decide whether or not to get vaccinated.

“The person should have legal capacity to give consent; should be situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention on any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion,” the complaint read.

The respondents in the complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman are Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Health Undersecretary Charade Mercado-Grande, and IATF co-chairperson Karlo Nograles.

Under IATF Resolution 148-B, all establishments and employers in the public and private sectors shall require their onsite workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The IATF explained that although being unvaccinated shall not be a reason for termination, employees shall undergo RT-PCR tests regularly at their own expense whenever they need to work onsite.

The complainants added that the requirement also forces workers to resign from their jobs since paying for regular RT-PCR test is costly.

Nograles earlier said the IATF resolution does not state that vaccination is mandatory or a basis for termination. He added that all resolutions they issue are “legal and constitutional.”

CNN Philippines is trying to reach out to the respondents for comment.

CNN Philippines correspondent AC Nicholls contributed to this report