MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday announced it will be implementing a “no vaccination, no ride” policy for public utility vehicles operating in Metro Manila.
In a statement, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said he has issued a department order (DO) enforcing the “no vaccination, no ride” policy while a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or higher is raised in Metro Manila as to be determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
“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.
Tugade said the measure is in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to restrict the movement of people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect them amid the uptick in cases in the capital region.
Duterte earlier ordered community leaders to monitor persons who are not vaccinated in their respective areas and make sure they remain at their homes. He also warned unvaccinated people they will be arrested if they refuse to comply with the order.
The Metro Manila Council, which is composed of all the mayors of the National Capital Region, 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 transport 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 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 the 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 public transportation, and other similar instruments.