With the growing number of Delta variant cases in the country, the House Health Committee will start listening to a bill calling for mandatory vaccination against Covid-19.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., Quezon Rep. He said the House Health Committee, chaired by Angelina Tan, will hold hearings on House Law 9252 either this month or early next month to speed up the bill’s passage.
Barzaga said discussions about the measure are urgent as Metro Manila will be put under lockdown again from August 6 to 20 to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
He has now admitted that the lack of Covid doses will pose a challenge for his bill to pass, as Congress will appear to be pushing for mandatory vaccination when the vaccine supply is insufficient.
“However, when the vaccine supply in the country is sufficient, perhaps then the time will come when the law will come into force and provide for mandatory vaccination,” Barzaga said. Said.
The Draft Law No. 9252 aims to amend the Republic Law No. 11525 or the Law on the Establishment of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) Vaccine Program for Accelerating the Vaccine Supply and Implementation Process, Providing Resources and Other Purposes. Those who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, as determined by the Ministry of Health, receive jabs.
While Barzaga acknowledges that the measure will be more difficult to approve now as election fever begins to rise, he hopes the bill will become law before the 18th Congress ends next year.
“It is not easy to pass a law unless it is urgently approved by the President,” he said.
The senior lawmaker, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, said his bill needed to become law as the country needed to take “hard” action against vaccine hesitancy, the biggest hurdle to the government’s pandemic response efforts.
According to the bill, “As determined by DOH, no one under this Law shall be permitted to enter, assemble or occupy public places, whether government or privately owned.”
In the bill, it was stated that people whose medical conditions determined by the Ministry of Health or a licensed medical doctor make it dangerous to be vaccinated will be exempted from vaccination with the Covid-19 vaccine.