Unvaccinated individuals on Tuesday found an ally in Mayor Sara Z. Duterte over a proposal to restrict them from entering the city and denying them certain government services.
Earlier, Duterte announced that she was not keen on imposing restrictions for unvaccinated people in Davao City similar to those being implemented in Metro Manila following a surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
“I am pro-vaccination and boosters. [But] in this case, I cannot agree with the exclusion or restriction of the unvaccinated because they were given the freedom to choose. Since they are given freedom, why should they suffer from restrictions,” she said in a radio interview Monday.
She, however, left the discretion to business owners regarding setting rules on the entry of unvaccinated individuals into their respective establishments.
Rey Pardillo, a public school teacher who opted not to get vaccinated due to his pre-existing ailments, welcomed Duterte’s pronouncement.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), he said restrictions on unvaccinated individuals would be like depriving them of their right to avail of basic services.
“We are all Filipinos and we have the right and the freedom to choose. There is nothing in the Philippine Constitution that stipulates that it is mandatory,” Pardillo said.
Duterte said the city government cannot implement entry restrictions for unvaccinated individuals.
“For me as city mayor, the government did not make the vaccination mandatory for all. Therefore, people are given a choice of whether they will be vaccinated or not,” she said.
Jaycelle Muaña, of Island Garden City of Samal who also opted not to get vaccinated, said she was happy with their mayor’s statement as she frequently visits the city for medical check-up.
“We are in a democratic country and every individual has the right to choose if they want to be vaccinated or not,” she said.
However, she said it is also the moral obligation of unvaccinated individuals to strictly observe safety health protocols.
“I chose not to get vaccinated because I am not physically and emotionally ready. I guess we are accountable for our actions and decisions towards this pandemic,” she said.
Muaña said they made sure everyone in the family is safe from the threat of Covid-19 and only goes out of their house for essential trips.
“If we go out, we will see to it that we will take a bath as soon as we arrive before talking to other family members,” she added.
Source: Philippines News Agency