The "No Vaccination, No Ride" policy for commuters using public transportation in Metro Manila has been lifted on Tuesday, Feb. 1, as the capital region moved back into the more relaxed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Alert Level 2, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.
DOTr's Department Order No. 2022-001 only allows vaccinated individuals to ride all modes of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to, within, and from the National Capital Region (NCR).
Under the order, the policy will only be enforced while the NCR is under Alert Level 3 or higher as determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease.
"Ang 'no vax, no ride' policy ay hindi perpetual o pang-habambuhay. Ito po ay ipatutupad lamang habang ang Metro Manila ay nasa Alert Level 3 o mas mataas pa (The implementation of this policy is not perpetual as it will only be enforced while Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 or higher)," Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.
"Ibig sabihin, kung ang COVID-19 Alert Level System sa Metro Manila ay ibaba na sa Alert Level 2, ang 'no vax, no ride' policy sa mga pampublikong transportasyon ay awtomatikong ili-lift o isususpinde na (This means that once Metro Manila de-escalates to Alert Level 2, the policy shall be automatically lifted or suspended)," he added.
The restriction was among the measures implemented by the government to prevent the transmission of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.
This was in line with President Duterte's order to limit the movement of unvaccinated individuals amid the increasing number of COVID-19 infections last month.
The policy was also anchored on the Metro Manila Council Resolution approved by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Metro Manila mayors, as well as on the ordinances issued by all local government units prohibiting unvaccinated individuals from boarding public transportation.
Meanwhile, Tugade reminded the riding public that minimum health protocols will continue to be enforced in public transportation such as wearing face masks and physical distancing.
The capacity of public transportation will also be retained at 70 percent despite the lowering of the COVID-19 alert level.
"Public transport capacity will still be at 70 percent. Wala po tayong ibabawas sa supply and capacity of public transport (We will retain the current supply and capacity of public transport). Any increase in capacity will have to be approved by the IATF ," the DOTr clarified.
The government’s pandemic task force recently announced that NCR and seven other provinces will be placed under Alert Level 2 from Feb. 1 to 15 amid the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases.
The other provinces under Alert Level 2 include Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Biliran, Southern Leyte, and Basilan.