The government will offer free rides on Metro Manila’s major railway systems as an incentive to passengers–specifically Authorized Persons Outside of Residence, or APORs–who have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
In an announcement on Monday, Aug. 2, Tugade said he ordered the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2), and the Philippine National Railway (PNR) to give free train rides to passengers who have already received COVID jabs up until the end of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period on Aug. 20.
“Mas mahalaga sa amin sa DOTr ang kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan kaysa kita. Kaya naman simula bukas, libre na ang pamasahe ng mga bakunadong APOR, kahit nakaka-isa o dalawang dose na ang mga ito (The people’s health is more important to us than income. That’s why starting tomorrow, APORs who have been vaccinated–be it first dose or second dose–can ride the trains for free),” Tugade said.
To avail of the free train ride, the DOTr said passengers only need to present their vaccination cards as proof that they have already been inoculated.
They can avail of this benefit from Aug. 3 to 20, meaning it will begin even before the start of the ECQ period on August 6.
In the maritime and the aviation sectors, Tugade said snacks will also be distributed to vaccinated passengers waiting at the seaports and airports.
According to Tugade, the move is part of the department’s efforts to support the government’s national vaccination program and encourage more people to get their jabs.
“This is one way of walking the good path towards the realization of new normal,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the DOTr chief also announced that all provincial and city buses will no longer have to pay a terminal fee at Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) starting Monday.
This, after Tugade urged PITX management to waive fees for both provincial and city operations during the agency’s vaccination program for transport workers there.
PITX is dubbed as the country’s first landport and its largest bus terminal. It caters to 14 bus operators.
At least 5,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors in PITX are expected to get their COVID jabs as part of the DOTr’s “TsuperHero Kasangga ng Resbakuna” vaccination drive, which aims to protect transport workers amid the ongoing pandemic.