AUTHORITIES started implementing on Monday, January 17, 2022, the “no vax, no ride/entry” policy on all public utility vehicles (PUV) in Metro Manila.

Personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) were deployed early in the streets for the implementation of the policy.

They were randomly inspecting PUV passengers and drivers, asking them to present their vaccination cards.

Those who were not able to show proof of their vaccination, including those who were partially vaccinated or only got one shot of a two-dose series vaccine were being instructed to disembark the PUVs and get vaccinated.

They were being referred to the local government unit officials.

Authorities did not issue yet violation tickets to PUV drivers with unvaccinated or partially vaccinated passengers.

Personnel of Metro Manila Rail Transit System (MRT) and Light Rail Transit Authority (LRT) were also inspecting all their passengers entering the stations, denying entry to all unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals.

Last week, the Department of Transportation issued the “no vax, no ride/entry” policy in the NCR while it is under alert level 3 following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to restrict the mobility of unvaccinated individuals amid the increase of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country.

Meanwhile, Public Attorney’s Office Chief Presida Acosta, who is yet to get a Covid-19 vaccine, said the policy is “highly unconstitutional” and against the law.

“That’s unconstitutional because the Bill of Rights, Section 1 states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law,” she said in a television interview.

“You know you are discriminating against the unvaccinated and then you are just favoring the vaccinated. You let them ride and then the unvaccinated anong gagawin, maglalakad?” she added.

Acosta also cited Republic Act 11525, which states that vaccine cards “shall not be considered an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes.”

Acosta said she prefers and is waiting for a protein-based Covid-19 vaccine.

So far, a total of 55,195,486 individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated, while 58,834,310 have received their first dose. (SunStar Philippines)