FILE PHOTO: Public school teachers receive Sinovac jab during COVID-19 vaccination effort of the City Government of Manila on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at Palacio de Maynila, Roxas Boulevard. INQUIRER file photo / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
MANILA, Philippines — The requirement that teachers and other personnel who will be attending "face-to-face" or in-person classes be vaccinated against COVID-19 is not discrimination but is meant to protect them and their students, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday.
DepEd said the policy is in line with the government's protocol which requires vaccination or negative swab test results for employees who are working on site.
"Requiring employees who work on-site, including teaching and non-teaching personnel involved in face-to-face classes and in-school activities, to be vaccinated is being implemented as a way of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools and DepEd offices to protect learners, clients, and employees to the extent possible," the agency said in a statement.
"The said policy does not and is not intended to unjustly discriminate against any DepEd employee who chooses not to be vaccinated."
The DepEd pointed out that unvaccinated teachers and other employees remain obliged to render work and receive compensation, and they could not be terminated on the basis of simply not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
The latest data from the agency showed that more than 93 percent of teachers and school staffers who joined the pilot "face-to-face" classes in November were vaccinated against COVID-19.
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