MMDA: NCR Mayors to impose ‘enhanced restrictions’ for unvaxxed individuals
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the MMDA Resolution No. 22-01 urges the Metro Manila local government units to act accordingly to regulate the mobility of unvaccinated people in the NCR.
“Despite the availability of vaccines, there is a number of individuals who adamantly opt not to be vaccinated and thus, become more susceptible to severe cases of COVID-19 infection which will, in turn, require hospital care thereby unduly burdening the health care system to the detriment of public health,” Abalos said.
Makati City/IMAGE from Unsplash
“The advances in public health and the economic gains that have been achieved in the recent months under Alert Level 2 must be sustained and pre-emptive measures must be adopted in order to forestall and immediately address the perceived adverse impact of COVID-19, particularly the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, upon the NCR under said Alert Level 3,” said in the approved resolution,” Abalos added.
Thus, the Metro Manila mayors have agreed that unvaccinated individuals in the NCR shall:
1. Remain in their residences at all times except for the procurement of essential goods and services such as, but not limited to, food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, and energy, work, and medical and dental necessities; Provided, however, that individual outdoor exercise shall be allowed within the general area of their residence, e. g., within the barangay, purok, subdivision, or village subject to the guidelines of the Metro Manila LGUs;
2. Be prohibited in indoor and outdoor/al fresco dining in restaurants and other food establishments and shall likewise be prohibited from leisure or social trips to malls, hotels, event venues, sports, and country clubs, and similar facilities in accordance with the guidelines of the Metro Manila LGUs and the concerned establishments;
3. Be prohibited in domestic travel via public transportation by land, sea, and air except for the procurement of essential goods and services such as, but not limited to, food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, and energy, work, and medical and dental necessities subject to the production of proof to support and justify such travel;
4. Be required to undergo a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) test every two (2) weeks at their personal expense and present a COVID-19 negative result prior to being admitted for work on-site consistent with the guidelines, rules, and regulations issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Department of Labor and Employment; Provided, however, that in the event that the RT PCR test and/or result is/are not immediately available, a Rapid Antigen Test may be utilized in lieu thereof.
The Metro Manila Council agreed to impose enhanced restrictions on individuals who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 amid rising coronavirus cases in the National Capital Region, said MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos.
— Official MMDA (@MMDA) January 3, 2022
The same rules shall also cover individuals who reside outside of the NCR but who work and/or travel to the region.
Abalos also reminded the public that individual and/or establishments found to be in violation of these COVID-19 protocols shall be prosecuted provisions of Republic Act No. 11332, particularly Section 9 (d) and (e) on Prohibited Acts in relation to Section 10 on Penalties, i. e., a fine of not less than Php 20,000.00 but not more than Php 50,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court, cited in the resolution.
Furthermore, any individual or establishment who or which will falsify the COVID-19 vaccine card shall be prosecuted under Act No. 3815 or the Revised Penal Code, as amended, pursuant to Section 12 of Republic Act No. 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.
According to Abalos, the current toward unvaxxed individuals will be lifted in NCR once Metro Manila reverts back to a lower alert level, the restrictions for the unvaccinated will also be lifted.
“These are just temporary measures while the NCR is under Level 3 for the protection of unvaccinated individuals amid the spiking number of COVID cases in the region,” said Abalos.
Written by Cedie Salido