LABOR group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) is pressing for government action on its call to lift the “no vaccination, no work” policy, citing the right of workers to make the personal choice of whether to get jabbed or not against the coronavirus.   

The militant group condemned the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) for its lack of initiative to stop the vaccine requirement, which are contained in resolutions 148-B and 149 issued by the task force managing the pandemic response.   

“It’s frustrating that DoLE cannot stand up for the rights of workers,” KMU Chairman and Makabayan senatorial candidate Elmer Labog said in a statement in Filipino released on Tuesday.   

Mr. Labog said they had heard nothing from the department except that it did not have a choice but to abide by the resolutions, which mandate vaccination for on-site workers.    

“They turned their backs on their own Labor Advisory 3, Series of 2021 that disallows ‘no vaccine, no work’ in workplaces,” he said.  

The labor leader said that vaccination “cannot and should not be forced unto individuals.”   

He also noted opposition to the requirement for unvaccinated workers to get tested regularly at their own expense.  

Many workers in the capital region earn only about P500 a day, while testing for coronavirus costs at most P4,000, he said, adding that many have lost their jobs.    

The Philippine Statistics Authority data showed that the unemployment rate of the country in October was at 7.4%, the lowest jobless rate reported since July’s 6.9%. In absolute terms, there were 3.5 million unemployed Filipinos in October.  

Underemployment, meanwhile, stood at 16.1% in October, higher than the 14.2% posted in September. 

Labor Secretary Silvestre H, Bello III has yet to reply to a request for comment. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan