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The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) “No Vaxx, No Ride” policy has been widely received by Cabinet Secretaries, including Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, explaining that the order barring unvaccinated individuals from public transportation is meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the health care system in the metropolis from getting overwhelmed.
 
Secretary Guevara defended the order and argued that the state has the responsibility to promote public health and safety by regulating the movement of unvaccinated individuals.
 
“The unvaccinated are not absolutely prohibited from availing themselves of public transport, provided that they have passes to show that they are out to obtain essential goods and services or that they have medical certifications showing that they could not be vaccinated for medical or health reasons,” Secretary Guevarra said.
 
Public transport operators, he explained, were bound to safely carry their passengers to their destinations, “and ‘safely’ means freedom not only from accidental injury but also from transmissible diseases.”
 
Secretary Año said the order restricting the movement of unvaccinated individuals will benefit both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
 
“Ito ay para na rin sa kapakanan ng lahat, bakunado man o hindi, at para hindi na lumobo ang mga COVID-19 cases sa ating bansa,” said Secretary Año.
 
Secretary Lopez, meanwhile, stressed that the DOTr policy is the government’s way of avoiding yet again a series lockdowns and help hospitals from getting overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.
 
“We are limiting this [movement of unvaccinated individuals] para less risk. Precisely ma-ooverehelm ‘yung healthcare system natin. Kasi mas dangerous sa kapag sila [unvaccinated] and ma-infect at ang tendency baka maging severe at sila ang magpuno ng mga ospital at mas marami ang severe at critical cases and therefore, baka maglockdown pa,” Secretary Lopez said.
 
Senator Franklin Drilon, on the other hand, shared Secretary Guevara’s sentiment, explaining that the No Vaxx, No Ride order is well within the state’s power to limit the movement of unvaccinated individuals.
 
“It is a valid and reasonable exercise of police power to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people,” Senator Drilon said.
 
“The State may also interfere with personal liberty to promote the general welfare as long as the interference is reasonable and not arbitrary,” he added.
 
For commuter safety advocate group National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection, the DOTr order is “not discriminatory.” 
 
“It is not discriminatory. Unvaccinated persons are not banned from taking other modes of transportation,” Chairman Elvira Medina said, adding that her groups support’s the policy.
 
Airline company Cebu Pacific also backed the policy and will enforce the order in a firm and tolerant manner.
 
Prior to its implementation, Senator Grace Poe, Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento as well as the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and various transport groups have expressed support for the order.
 
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