Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III

Lawmakers buck “no vax, no ride” policy

January 13, 2022 Marlon Purification 230 views

THREE senators opposed the implementation of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) “No Vaccination, No Ride” policy.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the government should not “discriminate” the unvaccinated commuters and instead the Department of Transportation should explore alternative ways to convince the public of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“There should be no discrimination among the riding public. Instead of barring them from riding public transports, DOTr should come up with brighter ideas on how to protect the unvaxxed from the deadly virus. For example, in trains or PUBs, designated coaches or buses should be designated for riders who have not been jabbed,” Sotto said.

Sotto added that the government should also serve those who opted not to get their immunization yet.

“There are many options, but to destabilize the means of transportation of our people should not be the only option. Think. Explore. There are plenty of other ways to fight the pandemic,” he added.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan likewise pointed out that the government should uphold the public’s “freedom of choice.”

“Huwag pwersahin o takutin o idaan sa sapilitan ang unvaxxed. May freedom of choice. Incentivize hindi penalize ang dapat,” he said.

For his side, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III stressed that the government must promote the vaccination of the willing, saying the government’s vaccination program must center on the advocacy to protect oneself.

“‘Yung ayaw magpabakuna dahil sa medical or religious reason o wala lang talagang bilib sa mga bagong COVID-19 vaccines na under emergency use authorization, huwag pilitin na maniwala sa COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

“‘Wag gipitin o pahirapan o pahirapin pa lalo ang buhay ng ayaw magpabakuna. Tandaan natin na ang bakunado ay puwede din magkasakit ng COVID-19 at maging carrier ng virus din. Wala namang batas na ginawang mandatory ang COVID-19 vaccine dahil kung mayroon man mapasa na batas na ganito, ito ay unconstitutional sa palagay ko,” he noted.

Pimentel likewise opposed the listing of unvaccinated individuals in each barangay, saying this is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights.

“Pati pa ba ‘yun ‘homebody’ na hindi bakunado laban sa COVID-19 ay hahanapin pa at ililista para lang maramdaman niya na wanted siya at para bagang mayroon siyang batas na nilabag? Homebody na nga at hindi na nga lumalabas ng bahay, Bakit pa kailangan hanapin at ilista na parang kriminal? Listing is shaming. Bawal yan. Violation of constitutional rights,” Pimentel stressed.