No vax, no ride policy not applicable in NCR under Alert Level 2

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — The implementation of the government's controversial no vaccination, no ride policy will halt if Metro Manila further eases restrictions next month.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that in line with the ordinances set by the Metro Manila LGUs, the no vaccination, no ride policy will be deemed non-applicable when the capital region reverts to Alert Level 2.

The policy is currently in effect in Metro Manila, which is under Alert Level 3.

"I believe the ordinances really state that the no [vaccination], no ride is only for Alert Level 3 and higher," Nograles said.

"Meaning to say, 'pag nagdeescalate ka then obviously you can no longer implement it kasi di na Alert Level 3 and up," he said.

[Translation: Meaning to say, when you deescalate, then obviously you can no longer implement it because you are no longer under Alert Level 3 and up.]

Nograles defended the policy, which he described as "primarily hinged on protecting the unvaccinated," since they are the ones that are mostly in the hospitals after catching COVID-19.

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

The no vaccination, no ride policy earlier drew flak after lawmakers and some groups called it discriminatory and anti-poor. Officials were also late in announcing that partially vaccinated or unvaccinated workers from allowed industries can take public transport.

But the Departments of Transportation, Labor, and Interior said in a joint statement that only fully vaccinated workers will be allowed to use public transportation in Metro Manila starting Feb. 25, if the region stays under Alert Level 3 by then.

Nograles said that Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will meet on Thursday to discuss the next alert level status for Metro Manila.

The government will make the final announcement either on Saturday or Sunday, he added.