ICYMI: Restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, Baguio City travel suspension

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by TopGear.com.ph | Jan 9, 2022
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño, Google Maps, Jason Tulio

Unvaccinated individuals in NCR won’t be allowed to use public transport under Alert Level 3

“As Metro Manila shifts to Alert Level 3 amid rising COVID-19 cases, the mayors of the capital are making some big changes, specifically regarding public transportation.

“In a Facebook Live stream yesterday, Manila City mayor Isko Moreno announced that unvaccinated individuals are prohibited from using public transport under the new restrictions.

“According to a separate report by CNN PhilippinesMetropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed that all mayors have supposedly ‘agreed in principle’ regarding the matter. ‘Para kang nag-ECQ only for the unvaccinated... Ito ay temporary lamang, habang nasa Alert Level 3 tayo para maproteksyunan ang walang bakuna,’ Abalos said.

“The MMDA has since released an official advisory on the matter, and it has clarified that all unvaccinated individuals will be prohibited from traveling via land, sea, or air except only when procuring essential goods and services like food, water, and medicine. Such individuals must also provide proof to support and justify their travel.”

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Baguio City suspends leisure travel in light of COVID-19 surge

“The COVID-19 situation here in the Philippines has taken a turn for the worse to start off 2022. In light of the recent spike in active cases and the looming threat of the Omicron variant, the government has now tightened restrictions in Metro Manila.

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“Following this, other local government units outside of the capital have also decided to impose new restrictions. Baguio City, for example, has announced that it will hold off on accepting requests for leisure travel.

“According to the LGU’s official advisory, previously approved requests with issued QTPs will be honored and individuals will still be allowed entry on their declared travel dates. However, they will be subjected to mandatory triage. 

“Meanwhile, all pending travel requests are now considered rejected. For APORs and other individuals on essential trips needing to enter Baguio City, you must first register via this official website.”

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The LTO now has a vaccination-card requirement for visitors at select branches

“If you have some motoring requirements to fulfill, you better have your vaccination card ready.

“The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has begun requiring motorists to present their vaccination cards at some branches and licensing centers. This comes in a bid by the agency to comply with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution Number 22-01, which imposes some restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated individuals.

“So far, the LTO has announced a vaccination card requirement for LTO-NCR West, its Manila North District Office, and Manila Licensing Center.

“The agency recently made the announcement on its official Facebook page, asking for the patience and understanding of motorists and reminding everyone to adhere to basic COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The LTO made no mention of how long this measure will be in effect.”

Train commuters to take random antigen tests under Alert Level 3

“As of today, Metro Manila is now under Alert Level 3. For its part, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is making adjustments to the current public-transportation guidelines. Commuters, take note.

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“The agency has decided to retain the 70% passenger capacity in all rail lines so as “to avoid ‘bottlenecking’ or crowding of passengers at stations” which may increase the risk of further spreading the virus. Rail-line management, meanwhile, will be allowed to operate at 60% capacity. However, strict health and safety protocols will be enforced.

“Train marshals will be deployed to ensure all passengers are wearing face masks, observing social distancing, and avoiding talking or eating inside the trains. In addition to these, the DOTr will conduct random antigen testing that will be on all volunteering train passengers.

“‘The random antigen testing of consenting and volunteering passengers is intended to guide us in the adoption of any further needed measures,’ said DOTr undersecretary TJ Batan. ‘Passengers who volunteer to be tested will be permitted to proceed with their trip after testing, and will be informed of their test results by text message.’

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“As for public utility vehicles, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has issued a memorandum that all buses, jeepneys, and other PUVs should only operate at 70% capacity under Alert Level 3. The DOTr says that any further changes to these guidelines will be subject to guidance of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

LTO extends validity of student permits, medical certificates, and conductor’s licenses

“Considering the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant, it’s understandable if fulfilling some nagging Land Transportation Office (LTO) requirements is currently the last thing on many motorists’ minds. The agency knows this, and is adjusting accordingly.

“In a Facebook post, the LTO announced that it is extending the validity of student permits, medical certificates, and conductor’s licenses expiring in the first quarter of 2022.

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“All of the said documents will be valid for another two months past their date of expiration. If your student permit expires in February, for example, the LTO will recognize it until April 30, 2022.”

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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño, Google Maps, Jason Tulio
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