DOLE, DOTr: Essential workers exempted from ‘no vax, no ride’ policy

Here’s the latest update
by | Jan 18, 2022
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have now announced that essential workers are exempted from the ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy for users of public transportation. This comes two days into the implementation of the policy, which kicked in on January 17.

“They are exempted, our workers, because they are rendering essential services,” said DOLE secretary Silvestre Bello III. “When you stop them, how will our businesses move? When there is no business, there is no economy. Luckily, our workers are exempted.”

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The DOTr clarified that essential workers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must be able to present a company ID or a certificate of employment: “If going to work but without vaccination card, one must show that your work is an ‘essential work’ (since our [Department Order 2022-001] refers to essential goods and services, hence the work must be essential, too).”

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The agency’s definition of ‘essential work’ will be based on the guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), meaning those working in industries allowed to operate under Alert Level 3 are deemed essential.

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The updated list of essential activities are as follows:

  • work in an essential industry (including job interviews)
  • medical checkup or examination
  • purchase of essential goods or services
  • application for passport, driver’s license, etc.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals going out for the aforementioned essential activities will need to show proof like a medical appointment, a barangay health pass, or a certificate from a hiring company stating you need to take an exam or attend a job interview.

Bello also said that a ‘massive information drive’ is needed to inform both the public and the implementing agencies.

Do you agree with the updated guidelines for the implementation of the ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy? Why or why not?

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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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