MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday reported that a total of 1,749 commuters attempted to take rail lines without showing proof of their COVID-19 immunization during the first day of the implementation of the “no vaccination, no ride” policy in Metro Manila.
In a statement, the DOTr said the breakdown of commuters who tried to board trains are as follows:
- Philippine National Railways: 8
- MRT-3: 1,204
- LRT-2: 136
- LRT-1: 401
The DOTr said the first day of the implementation of the policy was “generally peaceful.”
The Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) – the agencies primarily responsible for enforcing the policy in the road sector – said the first day of the policy’s implementation saw enforcers comprehensively explaining the guidelines of the DOTr order to commuters.
“According to reports from our men on the ground, most of the passengers were prepared for the policy. They voluntarily handed over their vaccination cards to our enforcers for thorough inspection and verification before boarding public utility vehicles (PUVs),” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
“Since this is just the first day of the policy’s implementation, our enforcers were instructed to just issue the violators warnings instead of outrightly apprehending them for non-compliance,” said DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor.
“These persons were later properly turned over to their respective local government units (LGUs) for assistance,” added Pastor.
The “no vaccination, no ride” policy was implemented on Monday, January 17, 2022, in a bid to help curb the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 amid a recent spike in the number of infections in Metro Manila.
Tugade said the department’s “no vaccination, no ride” aims to also protect the unvaccinated from getting severe COVID-19 infections.
The policy will be in effect 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).
Meanwhile, 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.