(File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed the decision of a Manila court to dismiss the petition against the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in connection with the implementation of mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 for onsite workers.

“We welcome the decision of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Brach 41 dismissing the petition against the Inter-Agency Task Force or IATF in connection with unvaccinated onsite workers and those vaccinated against Covid-19,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, also acting presidential spokesperson, said in a Palace press briefing.

Nograles emphasized the need to ensure that every Filipino is safe and healthy.

“Nais natin lahat ang isang ligtas at malusog na kapaligiran at pamumuhay (We all want a safe and healthy environment and lifestyle),” he added.

Judge Rosalyn Mislos-Loja of the Manila RTC Branch 41 noted that the IATF was merely exercising its discretionary power to refuse declaration of rights and construction of IATF Resolution 148-B dated Nov. 11, 2021.

The petitioner, Kathryn Joy Hautea-Nuñez, clerk of court of the Las Piñas RTC Branch 198, had asked that the IATF's resolution on mandatory vaccination be voided.

In filing her petition, Hautea-Nuñez said she is hesitant to get jabbed because after weighing the information on the vaccines being used and the other means available to prevent the spread of the infection, "she came to the personal conclusion that vaccination is not for her and her family."

The court ruled that "any discussion on the propriety of determination of issues rather than declaration of definitely stated rights or construction of instruments in a petition for declaratory relief becomes inconsequential."

The IATF-EID earlier released a resolution stating that employees who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 cannot be terminated but must undergo regular reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing or antigen tests at their own expense.

It also said establishments can refuse entry and deny service to unvaccinated individuals, or those partially vaccinated despite being eligible for inoculation.

Currently, there is no law for mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.

The national government, however, has encouraged vaccination to prevent deaths and severe illness due to Covid-19 as well as reach herd immunity. (PNA)