More than 50 individuals were apprehended in Quezon City and Caloocan City as the Inter Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) started implementing the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) “no vaccination, no ride” policy on Monday, Jan. 17.
As of 12 noon on Monday, Jan. 17, officials of I-ACT have apprehended around 50 passengers in buses and taxis on Commonwealth Avenue and 67 passengers in Quezon Avenue, according to DZBB Super Radyo.
Twenty-three PUVs in Commonwealth Avenue and Quezon Avenue were also found disobeying the policy.
Members of I-ACT and the Quezon City Task Force Disiplina (QC TFD) were seen inspecting the passengers and the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers’ vaccination cards and valid IDs, as well as checking if the 70 percent capacity in the PUVs is being followed. According to GMA News, five unvaccinated bus passengers were apprehended by members of the QC TFD at around 7 a.m. on Commonwealth Avenue.
Cyclists along Commonwealth Avenue were also asked to show their vaccination cards and valid IDs. Unvaccinated cyclists were taken by the TFD to their outposts.
In Monumento in Caloocan City, Victor Alcantara, a jeepney driver, was asked by I-ACT members to return to the jeepney terminal because he was only partially vaccinated.
A partially vaccinated passenger inside the jeepney was also asked to step down from the vehicle.
This week, unvaccinated individuals who are caught violating the policy will only receive verbal warnings instead of being given tickets, according to the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) National Capital Region (NCR) Lt. Col. Joel Mendoza.
Department Order No. 2022-001 or the “no vaccination, no ride” policy of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) states that unvaccinated or non-fully vaccinated individuals are restricted from using public utility vehicles (PUVs) as long as Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 or higher.
Under the order, unvaccinated individuals with medical conditions are exempted from the policy, provided that they must present a medical certificate with a recommendation for non-vaccination by their doctor.
When buying essential goods and accessing essential services, unvaccinated individuals must secure a health pass from their respective barangays in order to travel.
The Alert Level 3 status in Metro Manila has been extended until January 31 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). (Khriscielle Yalao)