Group to file TRO vs 'no vaxx, no ride' policy, says Sotto | Inquirer News
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Group to file TRO vs ‘no vaxx, no ride’ policy, says Sotto

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:29 PM January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — A group is set to file a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government’s “no vaccination, no ride” policy, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Tuesday.

The new policy, which took effect Monday, prohibits individuals not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from using public transportation.

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“I know of a group filing for a TRO,” Sotto, who is seeking the vice presidency in May, said in a text message.

He did not provide additional details except that the TRO would be filed soon.

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The Senate leader himself rejected the new policy being implemented by the Department of Transportation meant to curb the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2, which is causing COVID-19.

“There should be no discrimination among the riding public. Instead of barring them from riding public transports, DOTr should come up with brighter ideas on how to protect the unvaxxed from the deadly virus,” Sotto earlier said in a statement.

Designated coaches in trains or buses, he said, may be provided for riders who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There are many options, but to destabilize the means of transportation of our people should not be the only option. Think. Explore. There are plenty of other ways to fight the pandemic,” Sotto further stressed.

Other senators also opposed the controversial policy.

While recognizing its good intentions, Senator Risa Hontiveros said the policy also has “unintended consequences.”

“Unang-una, sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang batas, hindi naman mandatory requirement ang vaccine card sa mga educational, employment at government transaction purposes,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

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(First of all, having a vaccine card for educational, employment and government transaction purposes is not a mandatory requirement under our present law).

“Ang public transport ay isang essential service, kaya hindi ito dapat ipinagkakait sa kahit sinong mananakay. Sa ngayon, hindi pa rin naman pwedeng gawing mandatory ang pagpapabakuna dahil EUA (emergency use authorization) pa lamang ang ibinigay sa mga mga ito at hindi pa natatapos ang clinical trials,” she added.

(Public transport is an essential service so we should not deny our riders their right to use it. At present, vaccination can’t be made mandatory as it was only granted EUA and clinical trials are not yet completed)

The senator said the policy is also not clear, which may be open to abuse since there are different interpretations on how it should be implemented.

And since there is no unified vaccination card yet, it would also be an added burden to operators and drivers to check whether or not their passengers are fully vaccinated, Hontiveros said.

Instead of enforcing any form of lockdown like the “no vaccination, no ride policy,” the senator reiterated the need to strengthen the government’s contact tracing, and vaccination efforts.

READ: Pangilinan asks gov’t to scrap ‘no vax, no ride’ rule; Lacson urges further study

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TAGS: COVID-19, Risa Hontiveros, Transportation, Vaccination, Vicente Tito Sotto
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