Starting Dec. 1, businesses can deny entry and refuse its services to those who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination but remain unvaccinated, Malacañang said Friday in a bid to boost interest in inoculation.
Frontline and emergency services however should continue to assist all persons regardless of vaccination status, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
"Public and private establishments may validly refuse entry and/or deny service to individuals who remain to be unvaccinated, or are merely partially vaccinated, despite being eligible for vaccination," Roque said in a statement.
An individual will only be considered ineligible for vaccination through the "presentation of a medical clearance issued by a government health office, or birth certificate, as the case may be" according to Roque.
The announcement came ahead of the government's planned three-day national vaccination drive which aims to ramp up inoculations ahead of Christmas.
Workers need to be vaccinated too
In areas where there are enough COVID-19 vaccine supplies, Roque said employees who are needed for on-site work can be required to be vaccinated but those who refuse inoculation cannot be terminated. The policy includes workers in public transport namely the road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors.
"All workers to be vaccinated during work hours shall not be considered absent upon sufficient proof of a confirmed vaccination schedule," Roque said.
Should an employee refuse inoculation, the individual should be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing at their own expense, according to Roque.
The Department of Labor and Employment had said that it is illegal for employers to terminate employees who refuse COVID-19 vaccination.
Malacañang also urged local government units to craft ordinances incentivizing fully vaccinated individuals, and for businesses to require proof of vaccination to their customers.
"All government agencies are enjoined to implement measures prioritizing fully vaccinated individuals availing of government programs and services," Roque said.
As of Nov. 6, some 29.3 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against an initial target of at least 54 million people before Christmas.