Villanueva seeks clearer policy covering on proof of vaccination for fully-inoculated Filipinos, OFWs
Senator Joel Villanueva today sought clarification from officials involved in pandemic response on what he said was a “confusing” policy that would require those fully-vaccinated Filipinos to produce two sets of proof—a vaccine card and certification issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) or the Local Health Officer.
“Isn’t this additional red tape?” Villanueva asked during the Senate committee of the whole hearing on the Philippine government’s COVID-19 response.
At the hearing Health Secretary Francisco Duque said he was not sure if the policy is being implemented already, but Villanueva asked him and other officials at the hearing to check.
“It further confuses our people,” Villanueva said. “There’s already a vaccine card, and you still require certification?” he said.
According to Villanueva, the policy involved requiring those who had been vaccinated here to also seek certification from their local health officers or the DICT to state that they had already been injected with vaccines.
“In the first place, are they trained to certify the vaccination?” Villanueva said of local health personnel.
“It further confuses our people. There’s already a vaccine card, and you still require certification?”
“I hope you look into this,” the lawmaker said at the hearing, addressing himself to officials from the IATF who are tasked with implementing the government's pandemic response.
Villanueva pertained to Paragraph B of IATF Resolution No. 120, series of 2021, which stated that aside from the vaccination card, a fully vaccinated individual must carry a certification issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology or the City Health Officer.
He said the policy, which is set to be implemented on June 16, would be burdensome for Filipinos who were fully vaccinated before leaving the country because it would appear the vaccination cards issued to them would not be enough proof of their inoculation.
Likewise, the policy was also silent about returning OFWs who received their full dose overseas, the lawmaker pointed out.
During Villanueva’s questioning, it emerged that there was no clear policy on the standard document to be recognized as proof of vaccination.
Villanueva said he wanted clarification on the vaccine proof policy because “there is fake news circulating.”