Pasig, Manila issue ordinance restricting movement of unvaccinated residents

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — The mayors of Pasig and Manila have issued their respective ordinances regulating the movement of unvaccinated residents.

They are in line with Resolution No. 22-01 earlier passed by the Metro Manila Council urging the issuance of local directives restricting the mobility of unvaccinated individuals amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the region.

In a tweet, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto noted unvaccinated people are not allowed to go out except when buying essential goods and accessing essential services, as well as when doing outdoor exercise.

When reporting for work, unvaccinated employees must undergo an RT-PCR test every two weeks at their personal expense and present a negative result prior to working onsite, the Pasig ordinance said.

In case test result is not immediately available, a rapid antigen test may also be used, it also said.

The testing requirement will not apply to those who can present a medical certificate stating that their doctor recommends they not be inoculated; those who can present a certificate of membership of a religious sector that does not allow any vaccination; and those waiting for their second dose, the directive added.

Individuals caught violating the ordinance will be penalized with ₱1,000 and/or face imprisonment of not less than a month but not more than six months.

For businesses, a ₱5,000 fine will be imposed as well as suspension of business permit and license to operate for seven days.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said the signed ordinance will be published in newspapers to better disseminate information to his residents.

He also appealed to those who still refuse to get their coronavirus shot “to get vaccinated to listen to ‘Science’ and avoid believing misinformation being peddled by anti-vaxxers.”

While the city government will continue encouraging them, Moreno warned it will be much harder for the unvaccinated if they continue refusing to cooperate and get immunized.

“This is about protection of your family, of your neighbors, of our community, of our city and our country,” he said in a statement.

On Thursday, Metro Manila accounted for 50% of over 34,000 new COVID-19 infections recorded in the country.

It is currently under Alert Level 3, but this may be escalated to Alert Level 4 if the capital region’s healthcare utilization rate breaches 70%, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.