April 15, 2024

Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Monitors COVID Jabs Not Enforced to Students


On March 3, 2022, the Anti-Red Tape Authority website published a statement from ARTA Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica on vaccination not being required for minor students attending in-person classes.

According to the article, ARTA reminded educational institutions not to burden parents and minor children with additional costs and requirements to attend face-to-face classes. ARTA had cited that Education Secretary Leonor Briones clarified that while vaccination against COVID-19 is encouraged for everyone, it is not mandatory. ARTA claimed it as a guarantee that children are not required to get the vaccine before being able to attend their classes. [See DepEd Chief Flipflops: Vaccination Not Required for Children Attending In-person Classes.]

ARTA added: “ARTA will continue to monitor the situation on the ground to ensure that no educational institution is forcing students to submit additional requirements. Should they be caught doing so, they may be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 11032[1]https://arta.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Final_ver6.pdf or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.”

Editor’s Note: The Anti-Red Tape Authority[2]https://arta.gov.ph/about/mandate-vision-mission/ is mandated to implement a national policy against red tape and promote ease of doing business. This includes any government agencies of which public schools are part of.

This is another opportunity for us to be more vigilant, especially with how government entities conduct business; not all are aware of this.

We add this here on the website because we need this kind of added protection for every Filipino, aptly with the vaccination policies implemented in schools.

We all know that DepEd had already announced that vaccination cards will not be a requirement in face-to-face classes, although they encourage learners to take the jab [see DepEd: Vaccination Card Not a Requirement for Face-to-face Classes].

There were reports that despite the DepEd announcement, principals still prefer vaccinated learners and are steadfast with their policies on RT-PCR test submission every two weeks for vaccine-free teachers and personnel following the DepEd Task Force COVID-19 Memorandum No 575[3]this is a copy of Region 6 where the memorandum is attached … Continue reading. This became a burden to our teachers, who only receive enough salary for their family’s needs or somewhat a hand-to-mouth lifestyle.

With ARTA upholding the law, government employees have another agency to turn to, but for private sectors and teachers, that is another story.

We still encourage those teachers who are being discriminated against and ostracized in schools because of their choices; you can always fight back legally. It may be easier said than done, but the law of the land always prevails.

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