Cebu City to start inventory of unvaxxed; CHR cries foul

·4 min read

THE Cebu City Government will conduct an inventory of individuals unvaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in 10 pilot barangays.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), told SunStar Cebu that they have identified 10 barangays as pilot areas for the inventory.

The move comes after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered all local government units (LGUs) to conduct an inventory of unvaccinated individuals in their jurisdictions.

This is in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to restrict the unvaccinated individuals’ movement amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.

Malaya said LGUs were directed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año to update their inventory on a monthly basis and submit it to their DILG field offices.

“Once we have the inventory, LGUs can then implement ordinances restricting the movement of unvaccinated individuals,” he said in a Laging Handa press briefing.

Malaya encouraged LGUs to come up with regulations that would limit the mobility of the unvaccinated individuals especially amid the surge in Covid-19 cases.

In Metro Manila, only three of the 17 LGUs have yet to pass an ordinance on unvaccinated individuals.

Malaya said the ordinances will serve as guidelines for law enforcers on the ground, particularly the police and barangay officials.

Template

In Cebu City, Garganera said he had thoroughly discussed with barangay captains Wednesday “the need to have an inventory down to the sitio and purok level.”

Once they have the template, the councilor said, they will implement the inventory simultaneously in the rest of the 70 barangays in the city.

The pilot barangays include Tisa and Budlaan, both of which Garganera said have a share of both lowland and mountain residents.

“This is also in line with the mayor’s (Michael Rama’s) directive not to leave any stone unturned in our vaccination drive,” he added.

Garganera said they will start conducting the inventory through the health centers since they have the complete records on the barangay residents.

He said barangays have no records on who got their jabs and who did not.

“Kanang actual residents gyud, per household, ug dili lang mo rely sa address nga gibutang sa (What they have are records on the actual residents per household. They don’t rely on the address indicated in the) vax card in order to really get the actual vaccination status of a barangay,” he explained.

Human rights

Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Central Visayas decried the order of the DILG to conduct the inventory of unvaccinated individuals.

CHR 7 Director Alvin Odron told SunStar Cebu Wednesday that there is no problem in creating a list if the purpose is for future policy issuances of the LGUs.

However, if the intention is to make it a basis for the implementation of restricting movements among unvaccinated individuals, human rights standards will come in, said Odron.

Odron said their central office will release an official statement on the issue.

Last Jan. 8, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann De Guia issued a statement on the order of the President to arrest unvaccinated individuals who violate the stay-at-home restrictions of the government.

De Guia said while the 1987 Constitution provides that liberty of movement can be restricted in the interest of national security, public safety or public health, it still requires a law to make the restriction legal.

“Presently, there is no law that makes being unvaccinated a crime, nor is there any law that would satisfy the Constitutional provision on curtailing freedom of movement,” said De Guia.

The Metro Manila Council and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority earlier said unvaccinated individuals are allowed to go out only if they are availing of necessary goods and services.

Unvaccinated people are not allowed to dine in at restaurants.

The Department of Transportation has also issued a directive preventing unvaccinated individuals from riding or entering public transportation in Metro Manila while the region is under Alert Level 3 or higher.

On Monday, Jan. 10, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the country was at critical risk for Covid-19, citing the uptick in cases in various regions, such as Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Ilocos and Cagayan. (MKG / IRT / TPM / SunStar Philippines)

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