Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go appealed earlier to PU drivers, transport operators, law enforcers and local government units to help the public appreciate better the “no-vax, no ride policy” as one of the measure being undertaken to ensure the safety of the riding public while keeping public transportation running amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila, which is still under Alert Level 3.
Go said he welcomes any investigation pertaining to the policy “if warranted”, adding, “Dapat ipa-intindi sa tao ang regulation kaysa pag-awayan ito.”
The statement came after a lawmaker filed House Resolution No. 2451 on Tuesday, urging the House of Representatives’ committees on health and transportation to conduct a joint inquiry on the alleged “illegal and discriminatory” policy which prohibits certain unvaccinated individuals from accessing public transport in Metro Manila.
“The ‘no vax, no ride’ policy, I am told, is designed to protect the unvaccinated individuals, considering that 85% of Covid-19 patients at the ICUs requiring mechanical ventilators in DOH hospitals in Metro Manila have not been vaccinated,” the senator noted.
He also underscored the need to come up with a comprehensive solution to protect the welfare of Filipinos while the government continues to strike a balance between public health and economic concerns.
“This policy, after all, is just one of the many pandemic measures, including guidelines on non-essential travels, health protocols, and activities, among others, that we had been implementing to regulate movements of people particularly amid increasing number of cases,” Go said.
According to the Department of Transportation, 23 passengers have tested positive in the free, random, and voluntary Covid-19 antigen testing being conducted in Metro Manila’s railways.
Eight out of 96 tested passengers were from Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3),12 out of 85 from Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT-2), and three out of 47 from Philippine National Railways (PNR) stations.
As of January 19, the government has successfully administered 121.49 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. Out of these numbers, about 56.44 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated while 59.43 million have received their first dose. Meanwhile, 5.61 million Filipinos already got their booster shots.