Vax cards required to enter Metro Manila
The Philippine National Police has reminded motorists and commuters traveling to Bulacan and Metro Manila to always bring their vaccination cards, which are required upon entry through border control points.
The local governments of Bulacan and the National Capital Region (NCR), according to the PNP, have instructed police personnel to check inbound travelers’ proof of vaccination.
Violators would not be penalized, but “those without vaccination cards will be barred from entering and will be asked to go back,” PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement on Thursday.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier ordered all local governments to recognize and accept either the local government-issued vaccination cards or vaccination digital certificates issued by the Department of Information and Communications Technology for purposes of domestic travel.
During the first day of implementation of the policy in Bulacan on Wednesday, traffic congestion in areas near checkpoints were observed. But the PNP said “this is only a direct result of the strict inspection measures to curb the possible spread of the coronavirus.”
“The PNP is fully aware that movement must not be hampered, but nonessential travel can be controlled,” Carlos noted, suggesting that those who had “nothing important to do outside” should just stay in their homes.
The PNP said it would continue to assess the situation every day. If needed, more police personnel could be deployed to checkpoints with a heavy volume of vehicles to lessen the traffic congestion.
Bulacan and Metro Manila were among the areas put by the government under a more restrictive alert level 3 of the five-tier alert level system of community quarantine, due to the surge of COVID-19 cases spurred by the more infectious Omicron variant.
Also placed under alert level 3 were the provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Laguna. The PNP, however, has yet to announce if proof of vaccination would also be required to be presented upon entry to these provinces.
On Jan. 3, the Metro Manila Council, composed of the 17 mayors of Metro Manila and local counterparts of government agencies, agreed to impose enhanced restrictions on individuals who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 amid rising coronavirus cases in the NCR.
Under Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 22-01, NCR local governments were urged to enact their respective ordinances on the enhanced restrictions of the unvaccinated individuals to regulate their mobility in the NCR.
MMDA chair Benhur Abalos Jr. assured the public that once Metro Manila reverted to a lower alert level, the restrictions for the unvaccinated would automatically be lifted.
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