Workers’ group: ‘No vax, no ride’ policy is anti-poor, gives car owners free pass
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s “no vaccination, no ride” policy in Metro Manila “discriminates” against the poor and gives car owners a free pass, a worker’s group said Friday.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier said that starting Monday, only commuters who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are allowed to make use of public transportation in entering, leaving, and going around the metropolis.
Public transport commuters should first present their vaccination cards, vaccination certificates, as well as government-issued IDs as supporting documents before they are allowed inside public transport vehicles.
“This is patent discrimination on workers and poor who rely on public transport for mobility and commuting to work,” Rene Magtubo, chair of the Partido Manggagawa (PM), said in a statement.
“In contrast, rich people — vaccinated or not — are free to move around since they have cars to use. These unfair and biased policies disproportionately impact people in the ‘laylayan’,” Magtubo added.
Magtubo said the DoTr policy could force unvaccinated workers to go on forced leave as they cannot tkae public transport going to their workplaces.
The DOTr earlier denied that the “no vaccination, no ride” policy is not anti-poor saying “it is more anti-poor and anti-life if we will not impose interventions that will prevent loss of life due to non-vaccinations.”
Magtubo also said there should be a dialogue between DOTr, the Department of Labor and Employment and labor and commuter groups.
“Has the DOTr realized the implications of their no vax, no ride policy? If not, it is because they do not seek to dialogue with workers and commuters’ organizations and prefer to unilaterally impose discriminatory policies,” Magtubo said.
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