It’s a fact that we are in a pandemic caused by the new coronavirus that was discovered in 2019. Now, there is the highly infectious Omicron variant of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 that could lead to death. Health experts, particularly from the World Health Organization, tell us that the best way to be protected from this virus is to be inoculated with the anti-Covid-19 vaccine and to practice the health protocols.

The Duterte administration’s reactions or moves against this Covid-19 pandemic may be slow as critics would say, but the government is now all out and doing its best to vaccinate the majority, if not all, of the population in order to attain herd immunity. Despite efforts of the government through the Department of Health and the IATF to provide free anti-Covid-19 vaccines, there are people who still adamantly refuse to be vaccinated for personal, if not uncanny, reasons.

The government's efforts to educate the people, particularly the doubting Thomases on the effects of the vaccines, are hindered by some sectors, worse the politicians, who have further confused the public on their narratives about one’s right not to be vaccinated. Agree. That it’s for this reason that the government has urged the unvaccinated to stay home to avoid getting infected or spreading the virus since the vaccinated community also has the right to be protected.

The government’s appeal for the unvaccinated people to stay home does not violate one’s right to travel or move since this is for their protection from being infected by the virus and to prevent the spread of the virus. Besides, they are still allowed to go out to obtain the basic necessities.

The “no vax, no ride” policy in the public transportation during this Alert Level 3 period deserves support instead of being chastised by the politicians, who are seeking elective posts in the May 9, 2022 polls. What a shameful way to get the attention of the voters. Instead, these supposed pro-human rights politicians should have gone out of their way to educate and encourage those who are still in doubt on the effect of the vaccines.

On the other hand, is the call of Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño for the unvaccinated barangay officials to take a leave of absence, if not resign, an indication that there are still unvaccinated barangay officials? Brand it as uncalled for, but to me Diño’s challenge to the unvaccinated barangay officials deserves the support of Malacañang. Difficult times need tough solutions?

The big question is, why are these hard asses don’t want to be vaccinated? If their reasons are health-related, then it is doctors who should decide. Haven’t these people realized that in developed countries, like the USA, those who have campaigned against the vaccination and have despised the vaccines were the first to leave this mortal world? Yes, it’s all over in the international news. Or, are they just confused by the rhetoric of the politicians?

The Vallacar Transit, operator of Ceres Bus, is the first in Cebu and the Visayas to implement the “no vax, no ride” policy of the Department of Transportation. In a statement, the bus management is implementing the policy to help prevent the spread of the virus as well as protect their employees, who are fully vaccinated. With the present threat of the Omicron variant, the LTFRB should strictly reimpose the 70 percent capacity in all public transport. That traditional PUJs are always overloaded with passengers is a daily sight.