Exemption of medical, health personnel from coding urged

December 4, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 469 views

ANAKALUSUGAN party-list Rep. Mike Defensor has urged the Metro Manila

Development Authority (MMDA) to exempt medical professionals and other health personnel from vehicle number coding, which the agency reimposed Wednesday to ease traffic.

“They should be exempted from this vehicle volume reduction scheme to allow them to do their job especially in case of emergencies,” Defensor said.

The coding rule applies daily from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., except on holidays and weekends.

Defensor said in the case of nurses and other hospital personnel on daytime duty, they should be permitted to go home immediately to their families after work without waiting for past 8 p.m.

“Those working in government hospitals usually end their duty at 5 p.m. They should be allowed to travel at once, if they have vehicles, and be with their loved ones, instead of passing time in their
workplaces or in malls where they would be exposed to the highly infections new coronavirus and its variants,” Defensor said.

For those on night shift, they should be permitted to go to their hospitals or health facilities during the three-hour period the vehicle coding scheme is in effect, he said.

“They do critical, life-and-death-related work in hospitals, which obviously cannot wait for three hours to be done,” he stressed. The lawmaker-health advocate expressed confidence that MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos would heed his plea.

Defensor suggested that the MMDA should no longer require health workers to apply for an exemption.

“They should just present their Professional Regulation Commission license or hospital-health facility ID when flagged down by traffic enforcers,” he said.

At the same time, Defensor supported the call of private businesses for the national vaccination task force to allow them to give their excess COVID-19 vaccine as booster shots to their workers.

He said these vaccines were procured more than four months ago and will soon expire.

“Let us authorize them to use it as booster shots to give their personnel added protection from the virus, particularly the newly discovered Omicron variant,” he said.

He noted that there have been reports that a number of business establishments and even some private hospitals have already inoculated their workers with boosters without go-signal from the vaccination