The government will deploy plainclothes enforcers in public utility vehicles (PUVs) to ensure compliance with its “no vaccination, no ride” policy, which begins Monday.
“We will be deploying mystery passengers to ensure compliance with the policy even if there are no uniformed enforcers around,” said Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor, speaking in Filipino at an online briefing Friday.
Under a Department of Transportation (DOTr) order issued Jan. 11, access to public transportation is limited only to fully vaccinated individuals, who must show a valid vaccination card (physical or digital) and a government-issued ID with a photo and an address.
Pastor said the enforcers would be deployed at “strategic locations” to ensure compliance by transport workers and passengers. He added that the move would ensure that the people follow the rules even when no uniformed enforcers are around.
Transport and hospital groups expressed support for the government’s new policy barring unvaccinated individuals from public transportation in Metro Manila.
Philippine Airlines (PAL), AirAsia Philippines, Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), PAL Express, Liga ng mga Transportasyon at mga Operator sa Pilipinas (LTOP), Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP), Pasang Masda as well as Senator Grace Poe and Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento supported the “no vaccination, no ride” policy.
They lauded Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s initiative in promoting safe travel as the country grapples with the surge of COVID-19 cases.
PAL said it would do its part to uphold the strictest safety and health standards and comply with the government’s “no vaccination, no ride” policy to further prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.
AirAsia cited its cooperation with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the DOTr on safety issues.
LRMC said it would begin requiring passengers to present vaccination cards when riding the train starting Monday.
“At LRT-1, we don’t allow the virus for a free ride. We remain committed to keeping LRT-1 safe for our passengers and our employees, said Duday de Sales, LRMC head of the Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality Department.
PHAP President Dr. Jose Rene de Grano said the unvaccinated are most likely to suffer severe COVID-19 infections and urged them to stay home to avoid catching the virus.
House committee chairman on transportation Sarmiento urged unvaccinated individuals to comply with the DOTr’s directive until COVID-19 cases in the NCR have dropped.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority announced it will start implementing the “no vaccination, no ride” policy at the Pasig River Ferry System on Monday.
The MMDA reminded ferry passengers to always bring their vaccination certificates or cards together with their identification cards every time they take a ferry ride.