June 16, 2024

Integrated Bar of the Philippines Releases Statement Questioning Legality of Policies Restricting Movement of Unvaccinated


The following statement was released by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) calls out the discrimination being experienced by unvaccinated persons in the country. In the statement released on their official Facebook page last January 21, 2022, the IBP says, “…we cannot understand…why unvaccinated persons are treated in a manner that appears to be in violation of their Constitutional rights.”

All lawyers in the Philippines are members of the IBP.

The IBP poses three questions:

  1. Can individuals be compelled to be vaccinated with anti-covid-19 vaccines?
  2. Can the National Government through the DOTr and its attached agencies legally issue a so-called “no-vaccine, no ride policy” on public transportations?
  3. Can the Local Government Units (LGUs) issue ordinances to enforce the so-called “no vaccine-stay at home policy”?

According to the IBP, there are no existing laws pertaining to pandemics that can be used to legally compel individuals to be vaccinated against COVID. They also stress Section 12 of RA 11525 which explicitly states that prohibit the use of vaccine cards for accessing educational, employment, and other government transactions.

The IBP also explains that there is no law that authorizes the limitation of a person’s right to travel simply because they are unvaccinated.

Editor’s Note: This statement from the IBP is pretty straightforward. Mandatory vaccinations are illegal, and the government’s initiative to restrict the movement of the unvaccinated are also illegal. If you are experiencing discrimination due to your vaccination status, the steps forward are clear:

  1. If you are employed, or studied, and is being coerced by your organizations in order to continue work or school, then you should file a refusal form [see forms here: CCH Legal Team Launched. Makes Public Its Vaccination Refusal Letter Template].
  2. If they continue to pressure you to take the vaccine, then make sure to record proof of coercion, and go to your district Public Attorney’s Office for legal assistance [see Public Attorney’s Office Welcomes Complainants Who are Victims of Mandatory Vaccination and Discrimination].
  3. File a grave coercion case [see KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: A Legal Explanation by Atty. Aaron Soguilon and Ready to pushback? Here are some documents you can use to protect yourself from vaccine coercion].

Remember: no one else is liable for vaccine injuries except yourself. If you don’t push back, then no one else can help you. So defend your rights, the law is on your side.

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Statement released by the IBP

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