The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to prohibit unvaccinated individuals from taking public transportation in the National Capital Region (NCR) with its “no vaccination, no ride” policy.
The Department Order 2022-01—which limits public transportation access to vaccinated population in NCR under Alert Level 3 or higher—will apply to public domestic travel to, from and within NCR via land, rail, sea, and air.
This also covers public transportation for individuals who live outside NCR but work or travel to the region.
Under the department order, concerned attached agencies and sectoral offices of the DOTr are directed to issue tickets only to fully vaccinated persons, who are required to present physical or digital copies of any the following:
- Local Government Unit-issued vaccine card
- Department of Health-issued vaccine certification
- Any IATF-prescribed document
Any of these should be presented with a valid government-issued ID with picture and address.
The department order noted that a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after his or her second dose in a two-dose series, and two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
Meanwhile, the following are exempted from the “no vaccination, no ride policy:”
- Persons with medical conditions that prevent full COVID-19 vaccination. They are required to present a duly signed medical certificate with name and contact details of the physician.
- Persons who will procure essential goods and services. They are required to present a duly signed barangay health pass or other appropriate proof.
“Any violation of this DO (department order) shall be penalized in accordance with the respective charters, authority, rules and regulations of the concerned attached agencies and sectoral offices of the DOTr,” the department order stated.
The department order will take effect immediately once it has been published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, and submission of a copy with the Office of the National Administrative Register, UP Law Center.
“This DO shall remain in full force and effect while the COVID-19 alert level in NCR is at Alert Level 3 or higher, as may be determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
On Jan. 6, as the country saw a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered barangay officials to restrain and arrest unvaccinated people who violate stay-at-home orders.
The same week, the government tightened restrictions in Metro Manila, which is currently under Alert Level 3, and several provinces. Unvaccinated people were ordered to stay home, after infection numbers tripled in just a matter of days.
On Jan. 3, Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos announced that the Metro Manila mayors have “agreed in principle” that unvaccinated adults and minors should remain in their homes except for essential trips and procurement of essential goods and services as Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 3.
“Para kang nag-ECQ only for the unvaccinated. Ito ay temporary lamang since nasa Alert Level 3 tayo para ma-proteksyunan ang mga walang bakuna… Dapat nasa bahay lang sila. Puwede silang lumabas kung bibili lang sila ng essential goods and services,” Abalos said.