‘No Vax, No Ride’ Policy Starts This Jan.17

Passengers present their vaccination cards at checkpoint of PUV | IMG Source: Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Starting Monday, January 17, The Department of Transportation’s “No Vaccination, No Ride” policy will be implemented for all public transportations in NCR.

Fully vaccinated passengers will be required to present their COVID-19 vaccination cards or certificates with a valid government-issued ID showing their picture and address to gain entry to public transports.

The issuance of DOTr’s Department Order No. 2022-001 came amidst the exponential growth of COVID positive cases this January in NCR, to prevent a more burdensome scenario wherein public transport operations will be forced to shut down should numerous personnel contract the Covid-19 virus.

The policy will only be in effect while Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 3 or higher (as determined by the IATF).

DOTr cleared that unvaccinated individuals are still allowed to travel by means of private transportation.

It is also important to note that there are exemptions to the “No Vax, No Ride” Policy, and these are the following:

To deter the public from resorting to using fake vaccination cards or disregarding the policy, the DOTr warned that respective penalties will be applied to PUV operators, drivers, passengers who will not comply.

Penalties for PUV operators and drivers include fines from P1,000 to P10,000, or suspension or revocation of the PUV franchise (depending on the gravity of offense)

Penalties for passengers, though not under the jurisdiction of the DOTr, may still be imposed under LGU ordinances and other laws. Among these are fines ranging from P500 to P5,000, or imprisonment from five days to six months, according to DOTr Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Yebra.

The policy has been receiving backlash from different sectors, as others view it as a form of discrimination towards the unvaccinated and the poor.

In response to this, the DOTr said, “…we believe that it is more anti-poor and anti-life if we will not impose interventions that will prevent loss of life due to non-vaccinations.”

DOTr has partnered with LGUs, DILG, PNP, MMDA, and the Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), to oversee proper implementation of the policy starting Monday, with enforcers and undercover passengers in tow.

Sources: Philippine News Agency, Manila Bulletin

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