MANILA -- House Committee on Health chairperson Angelina Helen Tan asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to review the "no vaccination, no ride" policy that is currently being implemented in Metro Manila.
Tan said the policy affects the livelihood of those who are largely dependent on public transport.
"Ang impact kasi doon sa ating mga kababayan na nasa public transport like drivers," Tan said at a recent hearing of the lower chamber's health panel.
(It will have an impact on our countrymen in public transport, like drivers.)
Transportation Assistant Secretary Ochie Tuazon, who was present at the hearing, said that the department order is meant to guarantee the safety of travelers.
Tan, however, said the policy appears to discriminate in favor of unvaccinated individuals who have their own vehicles.
"Parang kung titignan mo, may discrimination talaga sa kanila and alam natin yung sumasakay sa public transport, ito yung mga ating mga workers in the government, middle income to low income bracket natin."
(When you look at it, there really is discrimination against them, and we know that those who use public transport are our workers in the government, those in the middle income to low income bracket.)
Tuazon explained that there are exemptions to the policy such as those who are medically unable to get vaccinated, and those who are going on essential travel.
He also noted that the department was merely implementing the ordinances of the local government units in Metro Manila when it issued its department order.
Transport rights groups and human rights advocates have previously expressed their position to the "no vax, no ride" policy, saying that a more organized and more systemic approach is needed to stop the spread of the virus.