By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Grace Poe on Monday started the virtual hearing on
the measure to strengthen vaccination cards to ensure the freedom of
mobility among individuals who are already inoculated.
In a statement, Poe said that the vaccination card under Republic Act
No. 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act is a simple record
of what brand of vaccines are given to individuals.
“Sa kasalukuyan, ang vaccine card sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11525 or
the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act ay tila ba talaan lamang ng klase
ng bakunang naibigay,” Poe explained.
Poe added that the card’s purpose is purely for record-keeping, which
cannot be used by individuals such as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)
or local workers as passports to get their jobs back.
“Beyond that, the cards have no use. We cannot use our vaccination
cards to travel for work, leisure or to access goods and services,
among other things, as the rules remain restrictive to all individuals
regardless of vaccination status,” Poe said.
She cited the incident where OFWs having a hard time going back to
their former jobs, but the host country refused to honor the vaccine
“Aside from the absence of legislation, its lack of power stems from
the fact that the vaccine cards are unique to each LGU—paiba-iba,
without standard appearance and formatting, and no security features,”
Similar to the measure being tackled today, Poe said she filed Senate
Bill No. 2321, which seeks to expand the objectives of the COVID-19
“Hopefully, we can use the vaccine card to usher us in the better
normal,” she said.
“It is worth noting that nothing in the proposed measures mandates or
requires people to get vaccinated but incentives exist for them to do
so,” Poe added.
Poe insisted that by expanding the objectives of the vaccine card, we
hope to be able to put the right balance to public health and economy
amid the pandemic.
“Bakuna talaga ang susi sa better normal. Habang ang pangunahing
layunin nito ay protektahan tayo mula sa COVID-19 virus, hindi
maikakaila na instrumental ito para makabalik tayo sa ating mga buhay
sa labas at mapasigla muli ang ekonomiya,” she said.
“A healthy citizenry and a safe environment will spur the economic
revival that we sorely need,” Poe ended. (ai/mtvn)