DOTr agencies claim 1st day of ‘no vax, no ride’ policy in NCR ‘generally peaceful’

EDSA

The first-day implementation of the “no vaccination, no ride” policy was generally peaceful, the agencies under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) involved in the enforcement reported.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What are the agencies under the Department of Transportation that said the first day of the “no vaccination, no ride” program was generally peaceful?

    These are the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT).
  • What are the agencies’ indicators of the aforementioned status yesterday?

    The enforcers were seen “comprehensively explaining the guidelines of the DOTr order to commuters
  • In a statement from the department, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) said that enforcers were seen “comprehensively explaining the guidelines of the DOTr order to commuters" during the first day of the abovementioned regulation. 

    EDSA

    The statement also said that the “commuters were very cooperative and are compliant to the DOTr’s department order." 

    Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said most of the passengers were prepared for the policy—according to reports given by the agencies’ personnel on the ground.

    “They (commuters) voluntarily handed over their vaccination cards to our enforcers for thorough inspection and verification before boarding public utility vehicles (PUV),” Tugade said.

    MMDA PITX inspection

    For his part, Assistant Secretary for Road and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor said that those who were caught for non-compliance are given warnings instead of being apprehended.

    “These persons were later properly turned over to their respective local government units (LGUs) for assistance,” he added.

    The enforcement of the “no vaccination, no ride” policy will be in effect while Metro Manila remains to be under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 level or higher.

    Those who are exempted from the regulation 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.

    MMDA inspection

    Another lawmaker backs up regulation

    Meanwhile, Senator Francis Tolentino — who was former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) — expressed his support for the ruling.

    He said that the department order prohibiting the uninoculated from using public transport is rooted in the Philippine Constitution, saying that the State has the right to protect the health of the people.

    Aside from that, Tolentino said that the same order is also anchored on Proclamation 922 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, 2020, which placed the whole country under a state of public health emergency.

    He explained that the franchise given to PUV operators is not a right, but a privilege subject to laws — which includes the Constitution and Proclamation 922.

    As franchise holders, PUV operators must uphold laws which concern the health of the people, such as the local ordinances passed by LGU restricting the movements of people unvaccinated against COVID-19. This means that PUV operators must help enforce the policy as laws supporting it were already passed by a majority of local government units in Metro Manila where they have operating routes.

    Araneta Center Bus Station

    Tolentino, one of the legislators who introduced the anti-discriminatory amendment during the Senate deliberations on Republic Act 11525 (also known as COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021), also backed up claims that there is no discrimination in the execution of the policy.

    Tolentino further said that those unvaccinated individuals still have other options.

    Wala pong diskriminasyon sa pagpapatupad ng batas dahil ipapatupad po ito sa lahat, at tungkol naman po sa issue ng freedom of mobility, hindi naman po totally o absolute ang pagpigil doon sa hindi bakunado (there is no discrimination in law enforcement because it will be enforced to everyone. With regards to the issue of freedom of mobility, it is not totally or absolute to prevent those who are not vaccinated)," he said.

    Sa aking pananaw, ang diskriminasyon ay kapag wala nang option yung tao na sinasabing na discriminate. Dito po may option. Pwede naman pong lumabas ang bibili ng essential items. Pwede rin pong lumabas gamit ang pribadong sasakyan. At pwede rin pong lumabas yung may mga medical reasons, halimbawa po, yung pupunta ng ospital (In my opinion, discrimination is when the person is left without an option. [With this ruling>, they have an option. Those who buy essential items can go out. Those using a private vehicle can also go out. And those with medical reasons for example, those who will go to the hospital are also allowed to go out,” Tolentino added.

    Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Araneta Center

    Also read:

     ‘No vax, no ride’ policy earns cheers, jeers from lawmakers, stakeholders

    Taguig City adopts MMDA resolution for limited mobility of unvaxxed

    PUV Drivers, Passengers Urged to take Safety Measures Vs Covid-19

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