CDC Ph calls MMDA lockdown of unvaxxed Filipinos unconstitutional, oppressive
The Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC Ph) expressed its vehement opposition against the recent Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 22-01 imposing enhanced restrictions on unvaccinated individuals.
CDC Ph, which advocates for evidence-based medicine and human rights, called the resolution, the first issued by MMDA this year, unconstitutional and particularly oppressive to the most vulnerable sectors of Philippine society.
Freedom to make informed decisions
“This resolution flat out ignores the constitutionally-protected right of every Filipino to make independent, informed decisions that massively impacts their health and the well-being of their loved ones,” said Dr. Homer Lim, President of CDC Ph.
Lim said that there are no medical studies on adverse long-term side effects of the vaccines currently being administered throughout the country. As such, vaccinations ought to be voluntary and not government-mandated.
“Does the government have the authority to coerce its citizens to be injected with an experimental drug, without knowing the degree and severity of its long-term adverse effects,” Lim asked.
And then, Lim added, “Will the government shoulder the medical costs and lost income for individuals who suffer long-term adverse effects from vaccines? If not, then the government must respect each individual’s right to self-determination – the choice of whether or not to receive these experimental vaccines.”
Financial burden on the poor
Meanwhile, Mari Kaimo, CDC Ph Vice-President, also criticized the MMDA resolution for imposing an additional financial burden on the poor at a time when the incidence of poverty is at the highest rate in recent history.
“Asking the unvaccinated to shoulder the costs of testing every two weeks is an oppressive financial burden on individuals and families that are at their financial breaking point because of the economic impact of this pandemic,” Kaimo said.
Kaimo is referring to the provision in the MMDA resolution that requires the unvaccinated “to undergo a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) test every two weeks at their personal expense and present a COVID-19 negative result prior to being admitted for work onsite.”
“The costs of RT-PCR tests run in the thousands of pesos, and given the salary scales in the Philippines, a vast majority of unvaccinated workers cannot afford to shoulder additional expenses of this magnitude,” Kaimo said.
“In effect, the IATF is using mandatory required testing as a financial cudgel to coerce unvaccinated workers to either take vaccines or face the prospect of financial ruin,” he added.