ILOILO City – If you want to land a job or renew your job contract with the Guimaras provincial government, you need to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Would other provincial, municipal or city governments in Region 6 impose the same policy?
“Sa amon wala kay pagdumdom ko daw indi man ina required or mandatory,” Capiz’s Gov. Esteban Contreras told Panay News.
It would be unfair for unvaccinated job hires not to be renewed, Contreras added, pointing out that vaccines aren’t available for all yet.
As far as his provincial government is concerned, Contreras said they are following the vaccine prioritization framework set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases; healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2) and adults with comorbidities (A3) get the jabs first.
For provincial capitol employees, “kon na-belong sa A1 to A3 category, i-prioritize,” Contreras said. “Kon bata ang employee like kon casual kaw nga wala kaw pa na-belong sa A1 to A3 indi ka paghatagan sang vaccine.”
Contreras also believes it is possible that almost all of their 800 casual employees also wanted to be vaccinated but because of the prioritization and limited supply of vaccines, they could not get the jabs yet.
On Aug. 10 Gumarin issued a memorandum specifying that current job hires must have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 or their contracts won’t be renewed.
The provincial government is also looking for job hires but applicants must have been vaccinated – even with just the first dose – against the coronavirus.
The aim is to protect the health of provincial government employees and people who have transactions with the provincial government, said Guimaras’ Vice Gov. John Edward Gando.
On the other hand, Gov. Rhodora Cadiao of Antique said her provincial government pursued the “no jab, no jab” policy in July this year because at that time many healthcare workers were skeptical of the vaccines.
“Pero may ginpadala kanakon nga threat,” Cadiao shared. “Nga-a kuno dulaon ko obra nila kay indi mapabakuna. Sabi ko sana lahat ng job orders at job contracts na walang bakuna hindi puedeng I renew. (But also) kulang ang bakuna so sige sa sunod na lang.”
According to Cadiao, the provincial government will implement the policy in October. She expects the arrival of more vaccines from the national government.
Every three months, the contract of job hires at the Antique provincial capitol is renewed.
The capitol currently has at least 1,500 job hires, most of which are assigned to provincial government-run hospitals.
Cadiao said most of them have been fully vaccinated while others have received their first dose.
Meanwhile, the Iloilo provincial capitol is not imposing a similar policy at this time, according to Provincial Administrator Suzette Mamon.
Most of the capitol’s job hires have already been fully vaccinated, Mamon said.
The provincial government has more than 1,000 job hires and most of them are in the 12 district hospitals and the Iloilo Provincial Hospital.
In the event they hire more job hires, Mamon said they will not implement the “no jab, no jab” policy; instead they will only encourage applicants to get vaccinated.
Meantime, Iloilo City’s Mayor Jerry Treñas said this has not been discussed yet.
“Wala pa ina na lab-utan but estoryahan gid ina,” Treñas told Panay News.
He confirmed that indeed there are still unvaccinated job hires.
The city government has around 3,000 job hires at the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office, General Services Office (street sweepers), Iloilo City Beautification Program, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, and public markets, among others. Iloilo City COVID Team spokesperson Jeck Conlu said they are yet to determine how many have been vaccinated already.
In Santa Barbara, Iloilo Mayor Rema Somo said she has no plan to make vaccination mandatory for those who apply as job hire.
However, she would prioritize those who are fully vaccinated or have received the first dose of the vaccine.
“Para man ina sa proteksyonan nila kay halos tanan nga empleyado nabakunahan na. Ti, sila nga wala nabakunahan mas delikado sila,” Somo said.
Santa Barbara has more than 200 job hires and most of them were fully vaccinated already, she stressed.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mark Palabrica of Bingawan, Iloilo, said it would be better if job hires are fully vaccinated or have received the first dose of the vaccine, especially since their municipal hall was locked down in the past months due to several employees contracting the virus.
However, Palabrica said he will not make vaccination a requirement for those apply as job hire.
Palabrica also issued last month a memorandum stating that all unvaccinated employees should practice work-from-home arrangement but shall keep communication lines open and be ready to physically report at the municipal hall when needed.
The municipal government also restricted the official travel of unvaccinated employees.
Mayor Ronaldo Golez of Dumangas, Iloilo, on the other hand, said he will not implement the policy but he encourages those who want to enter as job hires to get vaccinated.
“Sa subong wala man kami hiring pero may renewal. So, ginhambalan namon nga mas maayo gid nga makapabakuna kamo para safe man nga iban nga members sang opisina,” Golez told Panay News.
But he does not rule out the possibility of implementing this policy once the town’s vaccine supply is sufficient.
Dumangas has 300 job hires and 80 percent have already received the vaccine.
On the part of Mayor Ronilo Caspe of Cabatuan, Iloilo, he said they have not yet implemented the said policy.
“May kinamatarong man sila nga magpa-vaccine ukon indi,” Caspe said. “Pero time will come nga basi isa ini ka requirement before renewal or hiring most especially come January.”
Caspe said they have more than 400 job hires; over 300 have received either their first or second dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine./PN