DTI rejects proposal to allow only vaccinated people in malls, other establishments — official

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 18) — The Department of Trade and Industry does not agree with the proposal to prohibit non-vaccinated people from entering shopping malls and other establishments, an official said on Wednesday.

DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said such a move would be discriminatory, adding many Filipinos have not yet received an anti-coronavirus shot, not of their own accord but because of the availability of vaccines.

“Secretary (Ramon) Lopez does not subscribe to it, that’s the latest I recall, kasi magkakaroon siya ng discrimination [because that would result in discrimination],” Castelo told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon.

Ayaw naman natin na mag-discriminate [We don't want to discriminate] against those vaccinated and against those that are not,” she added.

Castelo said the government should perhaps wait first for the majority of the Filipino population to be immunized against the coronavirus before considering implementing such a policy.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion on Tuesday suggested establishments in Metro Manila, such as malls and restaurants, should allow entry only to fully vaccinated people to create "safer bubbles" that could control the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

However, Concepcion also acknowledged that there should be “enough fully vaccinated residents” before implementing these restrictions.

Official data as of Aug. 15 showed around 27.8 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, with 12.5 million given as second shot. The government's year-end goal is to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos.