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Undercover cops to monitor 'no vax, no ride' policy on public transport

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Undercover cops to monitor 'no vax, no ride' policy on public transport
A bus company puts up no vaccine no ride sign at their terminal in Buendia, Pasay on Jan. 14, 2022.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Taking the lead of the Department of Transportation, the Philippine National Police will also be deploying police personnel as "mystery passengers" to enforce the "no vaccine, no ride" policy on public transportation, its spokesperson said Tuesday. 

This comes after the first day of the policy's implementation in Metro Manila. The DOTr earlier said enforcers only issued warnings on the first day and that the issuing of tickets would only come later on. 

Speaking in an interview aired over DZMM Teleradyo, Police Col. Roderick Alba said that the assigned personnel will only take note of the vehicles’ plate numbers and routes, then report them to transportation authorities.

"We will do this in the coming days...we will not announce when or where," the PNP spokesperson said in mixed Filipino and English. 

Alba reminded Filipinos that falsification of vaccination cards — a government-issued public document — is a violation of the mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases law. 

'Extreme and unnecessary'

Rights and transport groups earlier questioned the "extreme and unnecessary" policy, saying it doesn't address the root cause of low vaccination numbers, which is the lack of access to vaccines. 

"Our implementation on the first day of no vax, no ride was orderly. We didn't record any untoward incidents or any violators since we are just in the warning phase. We expect that we will fully implement this in the coming week," Alba also said. 

During the enhanced community quarantine, jeepney drivers said that checkpoints set up for enforcers to check on the observance of minimum public health standards only intimidated drivers with aggressive enforcement, forcing some to stay at home instead out of fear of operating at a loss.

According to data from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, 88% or almost nine out of ten households in Metro Manila do not own private vehicles and have to rely on public transportation. 

As of this writing, only 67.8% of Metro Manila residents are fully vaccinated.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

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