Govt to tighten PUV rules on unvaccinated, partially vaxxed workers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — Tighter restrictions await both the unvaccinated and partially unvaccinated workers who make use of their work as a reason to board public utility vehicles or PUVs, government agencies agreed on Wednesday.

In a joint statement issued by the Department of Transportation, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Interior and Local Government, only fully vaccinated workers will be allowed to ride in PUVs in Metro Manila starting Feb. 25 — but only if the region stays under Alert Level 3.

The agencies said workers who are unvaccinated or have not completed their primary vaccination series can still commute for now, but they will not be allowed to ride in PUVs if their vaccination remains incomplete within 30 days.

The 30-day count for the full implementation of the "no vaccination, no ride" policy starts Wednesday, Jan. 26.

"DILG stands by the policy na after this 30-day window, full implementation tayo nitong 'no vaxx, no ride' policy because it is a valid exercise of the police power of the state to promote public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property," Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a media briefing.

DOTR said there is no need to issue a new order since all three agencies have agreed on it.

Once it takes effect, commuters need to present their vaccination card and valid identification card before taking the PUV.

The government is prohibiting unvaccinated and partially vaccinated commuters to make use of PUVs while Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 or higher, except if they are traveling for work or essential errands.

The Inter-Agency Task Force reiterated on Wednesday that the no vaccination, no ride policy cannot be enforced if the capital region eases to Alert Level 2.