As DOTr bans unvaccinated from transport, Metro Manila mayors launch vax sites for access, incentives

As DOTr bans unvaccinated from transport, Metro Manila mayors launch vax sites for access, incentives
Anti-vaccine protesters gather at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 to rail against government restrictions against those who have not received the shot against COVID-19.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The mayors of the worst-hit cities in Metro Manila urged the unvaccinated to get their jabs as the National Capital Region's latest spike in coronavirus cases continued. 

According to data from the Department of Health, 55% of the over 28,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday afternoon came from the National Capital Region. Of which, 4,668 came from Quezon City while 2,557 came from Manila City. 

With the Department of Transportation launching a policy to ban the unvaccinated from riding public transportation, the local chief executives of the two cities launched projects to provide better access to vaccines and to incentivize those taking their jabs to address hesitancy.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, who is running for president, announced Wednesday the opening of the Luneta vaccination site which features a drive-through booster shot facility for four-wheeled vehicles.

The site is set to begin operating Thursday morning and aims to inoculate 1,500 individuals per day. The facility will accommodate 300 vehicles, with a maximum of five passengers, on a first-come, first-served basis, while those who cannot be accommodated will be given numbers they can avail of the following day. 

"Jeeps, taxis, private cars, even Grab, bring your family, and businessmen, bring your employees. You can come here to Luneta," Moreno said, adding that the only requirement is for individuals to present their vaccination cards, either digital or physical, issued by their respective local governments. 

"We will recognize the vaccination cards of those from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Ilocos, Bicol… all around NCR. No matter where you are from, we will accept your vaccination card. And you will be vaccinated with a booster shot," he said.

This comes after the city government put up a separate two-wheel drive-through facility at the Kartilya ng Katipunan to cater to motorcycle deliver riders from and those in bicycles. 

Moreno also ordered on-site booster shots for construction workers employed in all ongoing projects of the city government.  

However, Moreno also warned that the city government is already prepared to implement its ordinance to limit the movements of unvaccinated individuals. 

“If we need to protect the majority, our countrymen who have decided, cared for themselves and responded to the government, and united with the community that vaccinated, then I think it's high time to police those who are unvaccinated and to regulate their movements to protect others,” Moreno said

Moreno urged those who are still unvaccinated to get their shots as soon as possible.

“Magpabakuna na kayo. This is about the protection of your family, of your neighbors, of our community, of our city, and of our country,” he said. 

QC gov't provides incentives for vaccinated vendors

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also announced the signing a memorandum providing incentives to ambulant vendors, market vendors, and market employees, in exchange for getting COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Following the resolution of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to restrict the mobility of unvaccinated persons in order to protect them from severe or critical COVID, the Quezon City Council enacted an ordinance regulating the mobility of unvaccinated individuals in the city. 

However, the city government acknowledged that among the unvaccinated are market vendors, market employees, and ambulant vendors who are earning their livelihoods on a day-to-day basis. 

Belmonte in a statement said the P2,000 incentive was meant to offset any disruption in the income-generating capacity of vendors and other day-to-day earners.

"Most markets vendors cannot leave their stalls because of possible loss of income, so to encourage them to take a day off to get vaccinated, we will provide them with incentives," Mayor Belmonte said.

Quezon City resident market vendors, market employees, and ambulant vendors who have not been vaccinated as of January 7, 2022, and are willing to be vaccinated from January 8 to 31, 2022 are eligible to be part of the program.

The city's Market Development and Administration Department shall prepare the masterlist of eligible persons who can prove their status as market vendors, ambulant vendors, or market employees through previous registration with MDAD, or by presenting a vending permit, certification from their barangay or reputable vendors’ association, and proof of residency in Quezon City through any valid ID such as the QC ID, barangay ID, or voter’s ID, among others. 

This list shall be submitted to the City Health Department for the facilitation of their vaccination schedule in nearby vaccination sites. 

After getting their first dose, they may claim their financial assistance within an allowable period at a separate venue by presenting the requirements and the vaccination card showing their first COVID-19 vaccine shot. 

Following MMDA Resolution No. 22-01, those who fail or refuse to get vaccinated shall be required to get a COVID-19 test every two weeks at their expense and present a negative result before being admitted to work onsite.

“This program is aimed at protecting both the market vendors and their customers who they come into close contact with every day. If they get vaccinated, we are protecting them from serious illness and improving the city’s overall immunity” Mayor Belmonte said. 

The city government cautions however that any person caught providing false information in order to obtain financial assistance may be prosecuted under Ordinance No. SP3032 or the Ordinance Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud.



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