DOTr mulls COVID-19 vaxxing at terminals, stations, expressways
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking into the possibility of holding COVID-19 vaccinations in integrated terminals, train stations, and even along expressways to boost immunization and make vaccines accessible.
“We’re actually exploring that possibility [of vaccination]. We’re mostly looking at the integrated terminals for the road transport. We’re also looking at the other stations for the rail transport,” Transportation Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. shared on ANC’s Headstart Wednesday.
“Even [Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade has already given instructions to the TRB (Toll Regulatory Board) to see if we can have vaccination sites along the expressways because there are some stations that have space for them,” he continued.
Tuazon said that the TRB is now studying where the vaccinations would be conducted, pursuant to Tugade’s directive.
Meanwhile, the transport official said the DOTr is talking with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) for an inoculation drive for drivers and operators.
“Actually, we’re now in discussion with the MMDA and PITX. First, for our drivers and operators, we will be launching another vaccination drive for them para (so) to ensure that the drivers and operators are all vaccinated as well at may booster kung pwede na sila (and there will be boosters if they are already eligible),” said Tuazon.
The DOTr is currently implementing a “no vaccine, no ride” policy in public transportation systems to protect the unvaccinated from contracting COVID-19.
However, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals who are traveling for essential purposes are exempted from the policy, provided that they present a proof like valid identification (ID) card or documents.
The following are exempted from the “no vaccine, no ride” policy:
-passengers bound for work
-individuals with medical conditions prohibiting them to get vaccinated
-persons getting or delivering essential goods and services
-vaccinees who are going to vaccination sites
Individuals who cannot show proof of where they are headed will be turned over to local government units (LGUs), Tuazon said.
“As far as commuters are concerned, what we do is we have them brought to the LGU who in turn like I said earlier they’re brought already to vaccination centers and if they are willing, they will be vaccinated already. This is also in helping increasing the vaccination rate in the [National Capital Region],” he noted.
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