WATCH: Market vendor slams gov’t’s ‘no vaccine, no ride’ policy
MANILA, Philippines — A vendor at the Paco Market in Manila on Thursday slammed the government’s “no vaccine, no ride” policy for public transportation now being enforced in Metro Manila.
Gemma Parina said she now walks from her house to reach the market because she is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Naglalakad ako. Tingnan mo ang pahirap na ginagawa ninyo sa taong bayan. Umupo kayo dyan, binoto kayo namin para paunlarin ang bansa. Kung ako may kakayahan tumakbo, tatakbo ako eh. Bakit? Para maiahon ko itong mga vendors na ito. Kasi vendors din ako,” she said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer, addressing government officials.
(I just walked. Look at the inconvenience the government is causing us. We voted you for the development of the country. If I can run for a government position, I would do so. Why? So I can help my fellow vendors.)
“Nagtitiyaga ako magtinda. Hindi ako umasa sa p****** i**** SAP (special amelioration program) nila. Nagtitinda ako ng balut (fermented duck egg) para may pambayad ako ng ilaw at tubig,” she added.
(I’m a vendor. I don’t depend on that SAP. I sell balut so I can pay for my electricity and water bills.)
Parina said she chose to not get vaccinated because she has a heart condition and diabetes.
But according to the Department of Health (DOH), those with “well-controlled comorbidities” can get the vaccines, since they “may have an increased risk of getting severe COVID-19 and may benefit from the protection provided by the vaccines.”
“Ngayon kapag wala kang vaccine huhulihin ka. P***** ina kakasuhan ko ‘yung mga pulis na ‘yan kapag hinuli ako, wala akong vaccine. Alam mo ang ikaso ko sa kanila? Harassment. Ano, wala na tayong human rights? Dapat lahat ng Pilipino magkaisa may vaccine man o wala, kasi ginag*g* na tayo ng gobyernong ‘yan eh,” she stressed.
(Now they say if I am not vaccinated, they will arrest me. I will file a case against the police if they arrest me. You know what I will file against them? Harassment. Do we not have human rights? All vaccinated and unvaccinated Filipinos should unite, because the government is messing with us.)
Parina said vendors like her need to go to work to pay their bills.
“Tumulong ba sila para magbayad kami sa Meralco [ng] ilaw? Kapag naputulan kami may magawa ba sila? Wala,” she said.
(Will they help me pay for my Meralco bills? If my electricity supply is cut, will they do anything? No.)
She also urged political aspirants to oppose the “no vaccine, no ride” policy of the government.
“Dapat lahat ng mga tumatakbo na ‘yan, tutulan ‘yung policy ni Duterte na no vaccine, no ride. Mamamatay ang tao sa gutom, kailangan ka pa magpavaccine,” she said.
(All those running in the elections should oppose the no vaccine, no ride policy of Duterte. People will die of hunger, yet they need to get vaccinated.)
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered barangay (village) leaders to “restrain” unvaccinated people from going out of their houses. Following this directive, the Department of Transportation issued a department order that only fully vaccinated commuters may ride public transportation in Metro Manila.
Commuters with medical conditions preventing them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine; those getting or delivering essential goods and services; and, those headed to inoculation sites to get vaccinated are exempt from the order. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III also clarified that workers with proper identification are also exempt from the policy.
Health experts have stressed that while breakthrough infections may happen among the vaccinated, vaccines continue to provide protection against severe COVID-19 and hospitalization. According to the DOH, 85 percent of COVID-19 patients at intensive care units and those requiring mechanical ventilators in DOH hospitals in Metro Manila are not vaccinated.
The Commission on Human Rights meanwhile said the “no vaccine, no ride” policy of the DOTr restricts the exercise of fundamental rights.
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