DOTr issues ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy in NCR

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday announced a “no vaccination, no ride” policy in Metro Manila, prohibiting unvaccinated passengers from using public transportation while the National Capital Region is under Alert Level 3 or higher, amid a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

The agency’s Department Order No. 2022-001 dated January 11 and released on Wednesday said public transport via land, rail, sea and air will be limited to fully vaccinated individuals, or those who have waited two weeks after completing two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. It also applies to passengers who have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine.

DOTr Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon, Jr. told reporters the policy will be fully effective Monday next week to give people time to prepare.

Under this new rule, passengers must present physical or digital copies of a vaccine card issued by a local government unit or a vaccine certificate provided by the Department of Health, or any document prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), as well as a valid government-issued ID with a picture and address.

There are some exceptions to the rule: persons with medical conditions that prevent full vaccination as proven by a duly signed medical certificate with name and contact details of a physician; and persons who will procure essential goods and services as evidenced by a duly issued barangay health pass or other supporting documents.

Essential goods and services include, but are not limited to, food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work, and medical and dental necessities, the DOTr said.

The policy will remain in the National Capital Region while it is under Alert Level 3 or higher, as determined by the IATF.

On Wednesday, active COVID-19 cases in the country hit record high of over 208,000. The Health department also reported 32,246 new infections - the second highest daily count since Monday's 33,169.

The Metro Manila Council previously passed a resolution restricting the mobility of unvaccinated residents, but the policies were subjected to the implementation of ordinances.