COVID vaccine law exempts gov’t workers from liability

GOVERNMENT officials and workers involved in the inoculation of individuals who will experience adverse effects from the coronavirus vaccines will be exempt from liabilities under the proposed law that provides for an indemnity to affected patients. “They are free from liability unless there was negligence or gross negligence or there is a willful intent,” Quirino Rep. Junie E. Cua said on Wednesday. He explained that such clause is needed because health workers would otherwise “be afraid to administer (the vaccines).” The House of Representatives on Tuesday evening adopted the Senate version of the proposed Emergency Vaccines Procurement Act. The measure will skip the bicameral conference and will only need the signature of the President for it to become a law. The measure will expedite the procurement and administration of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The proposed measure also provides for a P500-million fund to compensate vaccine recipients who might require confinement due to side effects, incur a disability, or die. — Gillian M. Cortez

BI warns vs fake immigration officers

BUREAU of Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente warned against individuals pretending to be a bureau officer and offering to fix travel documents for a fee. In a press release on Wednesday, Mr. Morente reminded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to “not fall prey to these predators.” He added, “They are sweet-talkers that will entice you to attempt to work illegally, but we (already have) measures in place to prevent that from happening.” He cited that the bureau received a complaint in December regarding an OFW who wanted to leave for Dubai under a tourist visa, but a certain “James” who claimed to be an immigration officer collected money in exchange for arranging his documents. The complainant transferred a total of P75,000 to the suspect. Mr. Morente said they have confirmed that they have no such employee and have already identified the suspect. “I have instructed our Travel Control and Enforcement Unit and Intelligence Division to coordinate with the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and ensure that this person faces the harshest penalties of the law,” Mr. Morente added. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago