|Passengers bound for Central Luzon on Wednesday are required to present proof of their COVID-19 vaccination before they are allowed to board their bus at Baliwag Transit Terminal on Edsa in Cubao, Quezon City. (Photo by Nino Jesus Orbeta)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA: The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday clarified that its newly implemented “no vaccine, no ride” policy is meant to protect the general public regardless of vaccination status, and not to discriminate against the unvaccinated, PH Inquirer reported. “On those saying that the ‘no vaccination, no ride/entry’ policy in public transport is anti-poor, draconian or punitive, we believe that it is more anti-poor and anti-life if we will not impose interventions that will prevent loss of life due to non-vaccinations,” said the DOTr in a statement.
“We do not discriminate against the unvaccinated, but we are protecting them,” it added. The DOTr reminded that the policy only takes effect while Alert Level 3 is implemented to stem the surging cases of COVID-19, particularly with the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant. Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), the DOTr reiterated that “while Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, particularly for those who are unvaccinated.
The DOTr also said that the policy is to keep the country from facing another transportation shutdown just like what happened during the Delta outbreak in 2021 in the MRT-3, LRT lines, and PNR. The DOTr also said that the move is to avoid businesses from shutting down.