By Raphaella Sarangaya
Local governments in the National Capital Region (NCR) prohibit unvaccinated adults and minors to enter malls, restaurants, and public transport as long as the region remains under Alert Level 3 or higher, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos announced on Monday, January 3.
According to Abalos, the Metro Manila Council, which consists of Metro Manila mayors, approved the resolution during a briefing on Monday. This “agreement in principle” restricts unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals from leisure trips due to the spike in the COVID-19 positive cases at the beginning of the year.
He also said individuals must present their vaccination cards and identification cards upon entry into establishments, otherwise, they will be banned outside of their residences except when buying necessities, going to work, or attending to other essential activities.
“Para kang nag-ECQ only for the unvaccinated… Ito ay temporary lamang, ito ay habang nasa Alert Level 3 tayo para maproteksyunan din ang walang bakuna,” he mentioned in a media briefing.
In terms of verifying the authenticity of vaccination cards, however, MMDA General Manager Don Artes said that the agency is making arrangements with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and every local government unit in NCR to formulate a system for checking them after receiving reports of fake cards presented in establishments.
He also reminded citizens that those who will be caught presenting fake vaccination cards are legally responsible under Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Law with a fine of PHP 20,000 to PHP 50,000 or imprisonment of one to six months or both.
Although this set of new restrictions has yet to be finalized by MMDA, local government units have already been given notice for the preparation of the implementation. Once finalized, these local governments are set to issue ordinances in their respective cities under the implementation of Alert Level 3 status in NCR on December 31, 2021.
As of January 3, the Philippines has recorded an additional 4,084 COVID-19 cases with 24,992 active cases.
Bolledo, J. (2022, January 3). Unvaccinated people in Metro Manila now prohibited from going outside. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/unvaccinated-people-metro-manila-prohibited-going-outside/
CNN Philippines Staff. (2022, January 3). Metro Manila LGUs to ban entry of unvaccinated in malls, public transport under Alert Level 3. CNN News. Retrieved from https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2022/1/3/Unvaccinated-malls-public-transport-Manila.html
Photo Source: Dante Diosina/Rappler