Plastic barriers hang inside a multicab. (Palawan News file photo)

The local government units (LGUs) outside the National Capital Region (NCR) will decide whether to implement the “no vaccine, no ride” policy, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Thursday.

During a Laging Handa briefing, DOTr Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. said the vaccine policy in public transportation was based on the LGUs’ exercise of their police power.

“Sila po ang nakaka-alam kung ano po ang kondisyon sa kanilang mga localities at sila po iyong may karapatang mag-exercise nitong police power under the local government code (They’re the ones who know the condition of their localities and they have the right to exercise police power under the local government code),” Tuazon said.

Once LGUs issue an ordinance or regulation to enforce a vaccine policy, he said the DOTr will support its implementation.

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While the policy is currently suspended in Metro Manila, he said the people are beginning to understand the importance of having protection against severe Covid-19 infections or even deaths.

“Unti-unti na pong naiintindihan ng ating mga mamamayan at mananakay kung ano po ang importansiya nitong polisiya na ito, at naintindihan na rin po nila na para sa kapakanan po nila ito (The public and commuters are slowly realizing the importance of this policy, and they understand that this is for their own good),” Tuazon said.

On Wednesday, the DOTr, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Labor and Employment decided to suspend the “no vaccine, no ride” policy in public transportation for 30 days to allow the unvaccinated essential workers and travelers to get their Covid-19 jabs.

Beginning February 25, those unvaccinated and partially vaccinated will once again be barred from public transportation except for those with proof of their medical exemption, their status as an essential worker, or those allowed to acquire necessary goods and services. (PNA)

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