The national government has further tightened the noose around the unvaccinated individuals following the issuance of an order that only allows vaccinated individuals to ride trains, buses and other public utility vehicles to, within and from Metro Manila.
But the Department Order 2022-001, entitled “Limiting Public Transportation Access to Vaccinated Population in the National Capital Region Under Alert Level 3 or Higher, will only take 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.
This means that the order is not yet in effect.
Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3 until January 15 but it is not sure whether or not the alert level will be retained or would even be upgraded amid the continuous rise of coronavirus cases in the country which showed that the National Capital Region has been consistently on top of the infection rate.
In a Department Order dated Jan. 11 and signed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Art Tugade, the implementation of the “no vaccine, no ride” policy covers all domestic travels to, within and from Metro Manila by land, train, sea and air.
Under Section 2 of the DOTR’s Department Order it stated that transportation companies even in the provinces must ensure that only fully-vaccinated individuals would be issued with tickets if the passengers are heading to Metro Manila.
“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.
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 (2) weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
Tugade said the order is in line with President Duterte’s order to restrict the movement of people who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 in Metro Manila, which is now experiencing an uptick in cases,
He said it also goes with the resolution signed by Metro Manila mayors that limit the movement of the unvaccinated.
The DOTr’s order, however, exempts the following from the “no vaccine, no ride” policy:
• 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.
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 of public transportation, and other similar instrument.