Written by: Aiya Rodjel
Last December, the country was slowly seeing a semblance of normalcy. There were less than 500 new COVID-19 cases reported each day. Unfortunately, there was a short-lived momentum. The Philippines saw a surge in new COVID-19 patients following the holiday season, which prompted the government to take action.
Due to the critical number of new cases in the National Capital Region, the Metro Manila Council and Department of Transportation (DOTR) announced a ‘no vaccination, no ride policy.’ This meant that people could not ride public vehicles in Metro Manila starting Monday (January 17). New policies like this are a good reason for having a fiber internet connection at home through an internet service provider in the Philippines.
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Who is affected by this public transportation policy?
According to reports, everyone taking public transportation to, from, and within Metro Manila has to follow this policy. This means that even those who pass through Metro Manila via public transport will are under the scope of the new rule.
Under the order, the allowed and justified travelers are only fully vaccinated individuals. A fully vaccinated person is one who received his second dose (for two-dose COVID-19 vaccine) two weeks prior travel. Additionally, the same is true for a person who received his single-dose vaccine two weeks prior travel.
On the other hand, there are exemptions to this rule. Travelers who have medical conditions preventing them from being vaccinated against COVID-19 will be excused from this rule. However, the requirement is to provide a valid and duly signed medical certificate with their doctors’ names and contact details.
Per the DOTr, unvaccinated commuters who will buy essential goods and services and those who need medical attention will have pardon from this rule. They have to show a duly issued barangay health pass other proof to justify the travel.
How does the policy affect public transportation in the National Capital Region?
Various local government units and all concerned attached agencies agreed that the scope of their ordinance will cover all forms of public transportation. This means no matter if you’re traveling by land, water, or air, you would need some proof of vaccination.
Traveling by land
The department order said that commuters who intend to ride the LRT and MRT trains and the Philippine National Railways (PNR), as well as other modes of public vehicles, are required to present a physical or digital copy of their vaccination cards issued by their respective local government units before they are allowed entry to stations, terminals or vehicles.
In addition to this, additional requirements may be presentation of vaccination certificates, issued by the Department of Health (DOH) or the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) valid government-issued ID.
Jeepney drivers and other public utility vehicles aren’t the only ones checking for vaccination proof. There will also be ‘mystery passengers’ who may ride with them to ensure that people are compliant with the rule.
Traveling by sea
If you’re going to the province through a ferry or ship, you also need to present proof of vaccination. As per the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), this policy applies to passengers “to, from and within” Metro Manila “including individuals residing outside NCR (National Capital Region) but who works and travel to the same, passing through ports under the [PPA’s] jurisdiction, including private ports.”
Traveling by air
The same rule applies to passengers going to and from Metro Manila via airplane. A lot of provinces have issued their respective ordinances for entrance requirements. This means a lot of people who travel via plane bring their vaccination cards and a valid government-issued ID with them anyway.
However, the new rule has additional stipulations. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, any passenger during the flight who will suddenly show symptoms like fever or dry cough will transfer to an isolation area in the last three rows of the aircraft’s cabin. This is so they can isolate and be given assistance. Only designated cabin crew members will attend to the symptomatic passenger, CAAP said.
To find out the additional requirements for air travel, you can visit their respective local government unit website. And you can do this with your connection from an internet service provider in the Philippines.
What are the penalties for the no vaccination no ride policy?
The No Vaccination, No Ride Policy states that violators may suffer the punishment under local government unit ordinances and other laws. This varies from city to city. Violators may face penalties such as P500 to P5,000 fines or imprisonment for five days up to six months.
The Department of Transportation (DOTR) warned PUV operators and drivers about non-compliance with the policy. It will be considered a “violation of applicable general safety and health provisions under any concession or service agreements, authority or permits to operate public transportation, and other similar instruments.” Violators may face penalties such as fines ranging from P1,000 to P10,000 or suspension or revocation of the PUV franchise, depending on the gravity of their offense.
Complying with the No Vaccination, No Ride Policy
The enhanced restrictions in Metro Manila are under implementation to respond to the dangers of the current surge. After all, unvaccinated people are most vulnerable to the new Omicron variant. While the new rule may be a nuisance to some, following the directions is essential to help manage the crisis.
To update yourself with the latest policies in Metro Manila and beyond, you must have a fiber internet connection at home. As one of the newest internet service providers in the Philippines, we at Streamtech can help you stay up-to-date with the latest news.
We not only provide a fiber internet connection. But we also connect you with your favorite television channels through our partnership with Planet Cable. Knowledge is power, especially now. Hence, we ensure you have access to medical and dental necessities through your internet connection.
Navigating through a global pandemic can be challenging. However, with fiber internet in your arsenal, you can face the future with confidence. Connect with our team to know more.