‘NO VAX, NO RIDE’
Commuters who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 will only get a warning on the first week of the “no vaccination, no ride” policy, the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) in the National Capital Region (NCR) said on Saturday.
“Warning muna po within one week… Pero hindi pa rin natin pasasakayin [sa pampublikong transportasyon]. Pababalikin o pauuwiin,” PNP-HPG NCR chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Joel Mendoza said in an interview on Dobol B TV.
(They will be given a warning within one week… But they will not be allowed to ride [public transportation]. They will be asked to turn back or go home.)
Mendoza said unvaccinated passengers will not be given citation tickets or be fined yet for the first week.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued Department Order No. 2022-001 on January 11, 2022 which limits access to public transportation in NCR only to fully vaccinated individuals while the region is under Alert Level 3 or higher.
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; and
- 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.
Transportation Undersecretary for Administrative Service Artemio Tuazon earlier said that while the policy took effect immediately, it will be fully enforced on Monday, January 17, to give time for the commuting public to adjust with the order.
Mendoza said the PNP-HPG will check if commuters have vaccination cards with them.
“Ang pinakatrabaho ng Regional Highway Patrol Unit ay mag-aassist sa mga kababayan natin na sumasakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan. Una pong titingnan natin ang kanilang vaccine card,” he said.
(The task of the Regional Highway Patrol, Unit is to assist our countrymen in riding public transportation. We will first check if they have their vaccination cards.)
Mendoza said commuters can present either the hard copy or soft copy (such as on their cellphones) of their vaccination cards. They should also present their valid IDs, he said.
The DOTr earlier maintained that its order barring unvaccinated individuals from boarding public transportation in NCR while the area is under Alert Level 3 or higher was neither anti-poor nor anti-life.
“Mas anti-poor at anti-life kung mahahawa at makakahawa ang ating mga kababayan dahil sila ay hindi bakunado,” Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran said in a statement.
(It’s more anti-poor and anti-life if our fellow citizens get infected or got infected because they are not vaccinated.) —KG, GMA News