Unvaxxed Agusan Sur gov’t workers required to submit negative RT-PCR results

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 14 Dec) – Starting Monday, Dec. 13, unvaccinated workers at the provincial capitol here are required to submit a negative result of reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test every two weeks at their own expense or they will not be allowed to report to work.

Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. gets vaccinated by a nurse at the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital last April 2021. Photo courtesy of Provincial Public Information Office-Agusan del Sur

Gov. Santiago Cane Jr.’s order was contained in a memorandum dated Dec. 12 after he realized that there are still 66 workers at the capitol who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.

Most of the unvaccinated, he said, are from the General Services Office (38) and the Governor’s Office (12).

The provincial government employs about 2,667 workers, including regulars, casuals, contract of services, and job orders.

In his memorandum, Cane emphasized that government workers who are eligible for vaccination but remain unvaccinated, along with those partially vaccinated, are required to undergo RT-PCR test every two weeks at their own expense and present the negative result before entering their workplace until completing full vaccination status.

He told department heads at the provincial capitol to advise their employees to get fully vaccinated to boost immunity against the mutating COVID-19 virus now that the provincial government is back to its normal operation.

The governor, however, explained in an interview over Messenger that the unvaccinated workers “will be made to explain and I will listen to their reasons.”

Chrisan Perez, information officer of the Provincial Health Office, said the unvaccinated used to be more than 100 capitol workers but some had gradually sought inoculation after learning that local government units in other areas started enforcing stringent measures to the unvaccinated.

Perez said some of the reasons of those who did not get vaccinated were their health conditions, fear, religious beliefs, and principles.

The memorandum mentioned that capitol workers with sensitive medical conditions are required to present their medical certificate issued by authorized health personnel to their administrative officers as a valid proof of their ineligibility for vaccination.

Absences due to failure to submit proof of vaccination and negative RT-PCR result, according to the memorandum, will be automatically charged to the remaining leave credits; and if there is none, the no-work no-pay policy shall apply. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)