DOTr reiterates: Essential workers exempt from ‘no vax, no ride’ policy
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have clarified that essential workers are exempted from the “no vaccination, no ride” policy provided that they present proof that such travel is essential.
This comes a day after hundreds were left stranded or were prevented from riding public transport systems due to the government’s “no vaccination, no ride” policy.
The government on Monday implemented the “no vaccination, no ride” policy in a bid to curb COVID-19 transmission, saying the move was to protect unvaccinated individuals.
However, after the first day of implementation of the policy saw a huge number of essential employees missing their ride to work, the DOTr insisted that workers, either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, may ride public transportation after presenting proof, like identification card (ID) or documents, to prove that their travel is essential.
Among those considered as essential travel are going to work, going to a medical check-up, purchasing essential goods, and applying for a license or passport, and heading to vaccination sites.
“You need to present proof na ikaw eh talagang doon papunta, gaya ng ID na magpapatunay na ikaw ay empleyado doon, o kaya naman (that you are going there like ID to show that you are an employee, or) medical appointment, certificate/appointment from the company na may interview or exam ka (where you have an interview or exam), or health pass from the barangay that you will obtain essential goods, among others,” the DOTr said in a statement.
Lacking information drive
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III also noted the exemption of workers during a press briefing in Malacañang.
Bello said that an information drive should be conducted to avoid confusion of the policy.
“Dapat more information drive for DOTr na ‘yung (The DOTr should have more information drive on the) ‘no vax, no ride policy,’ it does not apply to our workers. So, maliwanag naman ‘yan (It is clear), rendering essential services, so they are exempted from the coverage of the ‘no vax, no ride’ policy,” he said.
“So, kailangan lang siguro (What we maybe need is a) more massive information drive to inform especially, not only the public, but especially the enforcing involved agencies,” Bello pointed out.
Also exempted from the policy are individuals who cannot get a vaccine due to medical reasons. However, they should present a medical certificate to be allowed to ride.
The DOTr reiterated that the “no vaccine, no ride” policy is only temporary while Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 or higher.
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