Pangilinan: Stop ‘’no vax, no ride’’ policy

Published January 18, 2022, 11:19 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday, January 18 said the national government should make inoculation convenient by setting up vaccination stations in transportation hubs and other such places instead of enforcing the “no-vaccination, no-ride” policy.

Pangilinan expressed this sentiment after the national government announced last week a draconian policy in public transport, particularly in Metro Manila.

“Parusa itong no-vaxx, no-ride policy sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan na gusto lang maghanapbuhay, at walang sariling sasakyan (This ‘no vaxx, no ride’ policy is a burden to our countrymen who just want to work and have no personal vehicles). Dagdag parusa rin sa mga naka-first dose lang kung hindi pa sila papayagang makagamit ng mass transport (This is an added penalty to those that have only one vaccination dose if not allowed to use mass transport). Karamihan sa kanila ay kakarampot na nga ang sahod, tapos hindi pa natin sila pasasakayin sa mga dyip para makapagtrabaho? (Many of them earn very small wages and they are being denied the use of jeepneys to go to their work?) Buti nga sila bumabangon para magtrabaho (It is good they still wake up to go to work),” Pangilinan said.

“Sigurado ako na kung pwede lang silang mag work-from-home ay gagawin nila, pero hindi e (I am sure that, if allowed, they would work from home but it is not) Halata na ang target ng polisiyang ito ay ang ating mahihirap na kababayan (It is clear that the target of their policy is our poor countrymen),” he added.

Pangilinan echoed Vice President Leni Robredo’s suggestion to make it convenient for people to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Kung seryoso ang gobyerno na mawala ang Covid, dapat may bakunahan araw-araw sa mga bus terminal tulad sa PITX (If government is serious, there should be daily vaccination at bus terminals such as PITX). Sa ibang bansa, pwede na ang walk-in vaccination kahit sa mga botika, dito sa atin depende pa sa schedule ng LGU (In other countries, there are walk-in vaccination sites such as pharmacies. Here, this depends on schedules of local government units (LGUs),’’ Pangilinan said

“Malamang hindi makapagbakuna kasi hindi pwedeng mag-absent sa trabaho at arawan lang din ang kita (It is possible they could be vaccinated because it not a wise move to be absent from work and their pay is daily). Bad trip ang no vaccine-no ride policy kung hindi naman abot-kamay ang mga bakuna sa lahat (This ‘no vaxx, no ride’ policy is a bad trip),” he added.

Pangilinan, who has received the two doses and the booster shot, said it is unfair to attribute the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country to unvaccinated individuals because there is no science backing this claim.

In addition, vaccinated individuals are still prone to carry the virus, hence the term “asymptomatic.”

“Kahit na ikulong pang lahat ang mga di pa napabakunahan, kakalat pa rin ang Covid dahil merong mga bakunado na asymptomatic (Even if you jail all the unvaccinated, the COVID-19 virus will still spread because there are vaccinated persons who are unvaccinated),” Pangilinan said of another policy suggesting to bar the unvaccinated from leaving home.

“At, sabi pa sa DOH guidelines, hindi na kailangan pang i-test ang walang sintomas (The DOH guidelines say there is no need to test those without symptoms). As of Sunday’s data, merong mahigit 7,000 na walang lagnat, ubo, pananakit ng katawan pero na-test na may COVID (As of Sunday’s data, there were 7,000 that have no fever, cough and body aches but they were tested COVID-19 positive),” he added.

The country added 37,070 more confirmed Covid-19 infections on Monday, and Pangilinan believes this will only worsen in the coming days if the national government continues to refuse to welcome suggestions on how to effectively handle the crisis.

“Nagkakasakit pa rin sa COVID ang karaniwang Pilipino dahil wala pa ring maayos na sistemang pangkalusugan ang Pilipinas (Ordinary Filipinos still get sick because there is no credible health system in the Philippines). Unang-una, napakamahal ng testing (First, testing is prohibitive). Pangalawa, kahit may sintomas na, hindi pa rin pupunta sa ospital dahil magastos (Second, even if they have symptoms, they still do not go to hospitals because it is costly),” Pangilinan said.

“Hindi natin masusugpo ang COVID kung ang mga polisiya ng gobyerno ay hindi tinitingnan ang katayuan ng mga tao (We cannot contain COVID if government policies do not look at the social standing of its citizens). Ang mga unang hakbang dapat, at matagal na nating sinasabi ito, ay free testing, contact tracing, isolation sa mga may sakit, at bakuna (At the start, and I have been saying these…free testing, contact tracing, isolating the sick and vaccinate). Ayun, 2022 na, wala pa rin, (Now, it is 2022, nothing is still happening),’’ he added.

 
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