The listing of unvaccinated individuals as ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) “must not result in the breach of the right to privacy,” the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) cautioned on Thursday, Jan. 13.

The CHR also pointed out that the listing must not lead to restrictions of individuals on their access to essential goods and services “as these are their fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.”

“We cannot use the present pandemic as a justification to set aside pertinent laws and human rights standards meant to protect human rights and dignity in all situations and at all times,” the CHR stressed through Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia.

De Guia reminded the government that upholding human rights remains to be an important consideration in crafting and implementing policies addressing the pandemic, even there is a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The DILG had ordered barangay officials to identify and list down their unvaccinated residents following the order of President Duterte to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals in the country.

For its part, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), adopted the “No Vaccine, No Ride” policy in public transportation in the National Capital Region (NCR) which is under COVID Alert Level 3.

The CHR had expressed concern over the “No Vaccine, No Ride” policy as it slammed the policy as a “restriction to the exercise and enjoyment of the fundamental rights of Filipinos.”

It clarified that it previously recognized the validity of the national government’s “no vaccine, no labas” policy since there was an assurance that the said restriction will not result in the denial of public services such as using public transportation.

It pointed out that instead of resorting to fear or force to achieve herd immunity during the pandemic, the national government should educate the public of the numerous benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, and to employ positive encouragement to entice unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated.

Source: Manila Bulletin (