MANILA, Jan 12 (Mabuhay) –The Department of Transportation is set to implement a “no vaccination, no ride” policy for public transportation in Metro Manila, which is currently under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
In a press statement, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said he has issued a department order enforcing the “no vaccination, no ride” policy while a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 level or higher remains hoisted in the NCR as to be determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
“All concerned attached agencies and sectoral offices of DOTr are directed to ensure that operators of public transportation shall allow access or issue tickets only to ‘fully vaccinated persons’ as evidenced by a physical or digital copies of an LGU (local government unit)-issued vaccine card, or any IATF-prescribed document, with a valid government issued ID with picture and address,” the DOTr department order read.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier warned people who have not taken COVID-19 shots will be arrested if they disobeyed stay-at-home orders as infections hit an all-time high.
Duterte in a televised address to the nation said he was asking community leaders to look for unvaccinated people and make sure they were confined to their homes.
“If he refuses, if he goes out his house and goes around the community, he can be restrained. If he refuses, the captain is empowered now to arrest recalcitrant persons,” the President said.
The Metro Manila Council, which is composed of all the mayors of NCR, has passed a resolution urging the various local government units of Metro Manila to pass their respective ordinances on the enhanced restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated persons.
Tugade said the department order on public transportation takes effect immediately after publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, and the submission of a copy with the Office of the National Administrative Register, U.P. Law Center.
According to the DO, a person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving their second dose in a 2-dose vaccination series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna brand of vaccines, or two (2) weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
Exempted from the “no vaccination, no ride” policy are the following:
• Persons with medical conditions that prevent their full COVID-19 vaccination as shown by a duly-signed medical certificate with the name and contact details of their doctor.
• Persons who will buy essential goods and services, such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work, and medical and dental necessities, as shown by a duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to justify travel.
Under the Order, violations of the policy are considered violations of applicable general safety and health provisions under any concession or service agreements, authority or permits to operate of public transportation, and other similar instrument. (MNS)