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VG Lagman urges public to get vaccinated vs COVID-19

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Albay Vice Governor Edcel Grex Lagman has encouraged the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19, stressing that the benefits outweigh the risks.

“Yes, vaccination is not mandatory but… While like most countries in the world the Philippines does not have a law mandating vaccination, the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) has been very successful in the persuasive approach where those who are vaccinated have been given more privileges and incentives by LGUs,” said Lagman.

“Too, private establishments and companies have mandated vaccination ‘in a very real sense’ because if you’re not vaccinated your employment or continuing employment may be adversely affected,” it added.

He said that the latter undertaken by the private sector is “legally far simpler” as anti-vaxxers are up against private interests conflicting with theirs and not governmental interests where they can invoke possible violations of their Bill of Rights like equal protection of laws and substantive due process.

“But there is the RATIONAL BASIS TEST that has prevented anti-vaxxers in the U.S. and other European countries from seeking redress for the discrimination they face from their respective federal/national governments,” said.

“Like some government services may be legally withdrawn or be not made available if one is not vaccinated. The rational basis test has been used to defeat anti-vaxxers who have gone to court mainly because it was ruled that: ‘ANTI-VAXXERS DO NOT HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL OR STATUTORY RIGHT TO ENDANGER EVERYONE ELSE,” he added.

Lagman said that if the measure would hurdle Congress, this provision must be stated: “The state should offer some compensation to all those vaccinated who suffer injury arising from manufacturing defects.”

“As a lawyer, this is my take on this issue. Pero habang wala pang batas mandating vaccination, sana naman po magpa-bakuna na yung mga di pa bakunado. The benefits of vaccination will always outweigh its risks. And kung meron man, the science is clear na extremely minimal,” he said.