The 1987 Philippine Constitution vows to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.
As a state signatory to various instruments providing normative contents to the right to education, our government is bound to provide legislative as well as administrative frameworks for the realization of this right. DepEd must concretize its commitment to promote, protect and fulfill these education rights in its development plans.
While having access to health services is a right to health, everyone should be entitled to control their health. Nobody should be subjected to medical experimentation, forced medical examination, or given treatment without informed consent.
Making vaccination mandatory and a condition for admission to public schools is a coercive measure that may disadvantage the learners and their families.
Could vaccinating a child by coercion, for instance, to secure admission to public schools breach principles of valid consent?
If the purpose is to boost childhood vaccination rates, we need to consider whether coercion is ethical and equitable and whether there are better ways to improve immunization rates rather than DepEd doing this job for DOH.