The Philippine government is expected to issue an order that would allow officials to go “house-to-house” to record the COVID-19 vaccination status of all residents.
The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the arrest of unvaccinated people who violate stay-at-home-orders. Less than half the country’s population is double-vaccinated.
“I am now giving orders to the [village chiefs] to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just request them or order them, if you may, to stay put,” Duterte said.
“And if he refuses and goes out of the house and goes around in the community or maybe everywhere, he can be restrained. If he refuses then the [official] is empowered to arrest the recalcitrant persons.”
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano is expected to sign the new order, creating a “complete inventory” of the COVID-19 vaccination status of all 42,046 villages across the country.
“Many of the officials will have to go house-to-house and do the survey or inventory,” Ano’s deputy Epimaco Densing told CNN on Friday (Jan. 14).
“Once the individuals, specifically the unvaccinated, will be identified, they will be monitored for the purposes of whether or not they will go out of their residence for procuring essential goods and services,” he said.
“Under the Revised Penal Code if you do not follow a person in authority or follow a valid order from a higher authority—in this case, the president—they will not be arrested because they’re unvaccinated, but because they did not follow instructions or directives of a person in authority.”