Traffic > Decree

The DOTr clarifies ‘no vaccination, no ride’ rule

Here’s what you need to know about this new directive

We have to make sure that our fellow passengers are fully vaccinated. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Starting January 17, 2022, if you haven’t been vaccinated, you won’t be allowed to take public transportation to, from and within the National Capital Region while it is under Alert Level 3 (with some exceptions). The Department of Transportation announced Department Order 2022-001 on January 12. It was supposed to be put in effect immediately, but the DOTr chose to postpone its implementation to give the public time to prepare (or get vaccinated).

To clarify, this applies to all sectors of public transportation, so it takes effect for road, rail, maritime and aviation.

As we said before, one must show proof of vaccination alongside a valid ID as identification before boarding a PUV, buying a ticket at a port/train station, or entering an airport (where face shields are still required).

Expect to spend more time to have everyone screened. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Of course, there will be other required documents and tests (like the S-PaSS, IATF-prescribed documents, and mandatory RT-PCR tests), but those are under the discretion of your destination’s LGU. You’ll be classified as a “fully vaccinated” individual when two weeks have passed after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or a single-dose vaccine (for those inoculated with the J&J vaccine).

There are exemptions.

If you’re not allowed to be vaccinated for medical reasons, show a medical certificate with a doctor’s signature and have his/her contact details on hand in the event the officers need to validate.

For unvaccinated individuals going out for essential goods and services (like groceries, medicines and hospital, dental and vaccination appointments), they will be required to show some proof of appointment. Though, we’re not so sure how that would work for essential goods like groceries.

For unvaccinated individuals going out for essential goods and services, they will be required to show some proof of appointment

For drivers and conductors operating PUVs, they will be required to wear and display their vaccination cards and IDs at all times. There will also be checkpoints in “strategic locations” and plainclothes personnel deployed, so don’t be surprised if a fellow commuter suddenly asks for proof of vaccination.

Meanwhile, there’s no directive that’s stopping the unvaccinated from traveling at all (via other means like private transportation). There are repercussions if you do get caught with a fake vaccination card or violate any of these rules—like jail time, hefty fines, and even suspension of your driver’s license (for PUV drivers and operators).

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.