Palace thumbs down limiting Metro Manila public transport to the vaccinated
MANILA, Philippines — Government is open to limiting public transportation to vaccinated persons but only once Metro Manila has achieved a so-called “population protection” level where 50 percent of its people are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Malacañang said Thursday.
This was the response of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion’s proposal to form a “transportation” bubble wherein there will be buses deployed solely for fully vaccinated individuals.
“We appreciate the suggestion po pero siguro pagusapan natin yan kapag meron na po tayong population protection. Siguro po pag naabot na natin ang 50, pwede na natin pagusapan yan pero sa ngayon po, minorya pa lang po ang fully vaccinated,” Roque said in a press briefing.
(We appreciate the suggestion but maybe let’s discuss it once we achieve population protection because we’re only on our way to population protection by vaccinating 50 percent. Maybe when we reach 50 percent, we can discuss that. But for now, the fully vaccinated are still a minority.)
“Sandali na lang naman po ito, siguro after this week, maaabot na ng Metro Manila ang 50 percent and meron na tayo kahit papano population protection, we can then explore how we can resume normal life given na kalahati ng populasyon ng Metro Manila ay bakunado na but point well taken po,” he added.
(It may not even take a while; maybe after this week, Metro Manila may already attain 50 percent vaccination and have population protection. We can then explore how we can resume normal life given half of the population of Metro Manila is vaccinated.)
In his newspaper column on Thursday, Concepcion said he met with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to recommend the “transportation bubble” to protect fully vaccinated passengers as they travel from home to their workplaces.
Concepcion also earlier proposed incentivizing fully vaccinated by easing their mobility to encourage more people to get the vaccine.
As of August 18, over 12.8 million persons have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country.
Meanwhile, National Task Force against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said 41 percent of the eligible population in Metro Manila are now fully vaccinated. Metro Manila has an estimated population of 13 million.
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