In its bid to protect their employers and passengers against the threat of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Vallacar Transit Incorporated (VTI), operator of Ceres Liner passenger busses in the Visayas and Mindanao, has started implementing “no vaccination, no ride” policy yesterday, January 17.

This is in compliance with the police of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), VTI media relations officer Jade Seballos said, adding that fully vaccinated passengers are now required to present their vaccination card upon boarding the bus.

The DOTr reminded that the policy only takes effect while Alert Level 3 is implemented to stem the surging cases of Covid-19, particularly with the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant of Sars-Cov-2 that causes the disease.

Negros Island, including highly-urbanized Bacolod City, are now on Alert Level 3 in terms of virus transmission.

Seballos encouraged passengers to go to their respective bus terminals, for inspection of vaccination cards and for checking their body temperature.

For humanitarian consideration, she said, VTI buses may allow people to pick up passengers with vaccination cards along the road.

Despite criticisms they got in social media for implementing the “no vaccination, no ride policy,” which may also affect their operations due to anticipated decrease in the number of passengers, Seballos said the management has no other choice but to implement the DOTr policy.

"All our drivers are fully vaccinated, with many of them already availing of booster shots," she added.*