BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – There was no willful desire to discriminate against the 13 unvaccinated personnel who were denied entry into Negros Occidental High School.
The Department of Education – Negros Occidental, in an official statement, stood by Josette Terora, Principal IV who was merely trying to “strictly implement” a DepEd memorandum which provides that:
“In areas where there are sufficient supplies of COVID-19 vaccines as determined by the National Vaccines Operation Center (NVOC), all establishments and employers in the public and private sector shall require their eligible employees who are tasked to do on-site work to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Although eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated, they shall still be required to undergo RT-PCR tests regularly at their own expense for purposes of on-site work.
The statement added that Terra, as the school administrator, “is duty-bound to comply all issuances of the Department to ensure the health and safety of all personnel and that of the learners when face-to-face classes resume”.
The statement added that considering that there are still no guidelines on how to handle unvaccinated personnel or personnel who are unable to present pertinent requirementa for entry, the Civil Service policy on Alternative Work Arrangement (AWA) is still in place.
Thus, all schools in the Division will still adhere to AWA regardless of the alert level status until such time that DepEd, CSC or IATF guidelines specific to attendance will be implemented.
DepEd Neg Occ, the statement added, continues to appeal to its personnel to submit themselves to vaccination for their own protection from being infected with the virus, and as part of the preparation for the eventual return to face-to-face classes.