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'No vax, no ride' policy may force commuters to resort to colorum vehicles —group

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The “no vaccination, no ride” policy to be implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) may force commuters to resort to colorum vehicles, a commuters' group warned Thursday.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Ric Rivera of Pilipino Society and Development Advocates Commuter-Consumer (PASADA CC) said many colorum vehicles are not even following the health protocols set by the government.

“Baka pumunta sila doon sa colorum sapagkat itong mga colorum hindi po nagre-require o nagi-exercise ng IATF protocols,” he said, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

(Commuters may go to colorum vehicles because they do not require or exercise IATF protocols)

According to Rivera, there are around 12,000 colorum vehicles plying the streets. He said the transmission of COVID-19 may happen inside colorum PUVs despite the new policy of the DOTr.

On January 11, 2022, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade issued Department Order No. 2022-001, which allows public transportation access only to fully vaccinated individuals while the NCR is under Alert Level 3 or higher.

Rivera said they welcome the new policy.

Passenger cap

In the same interview, Rivera also called on the government to stop limiting passenger capacity of PUVs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, Rivera said the government should encourage PUVs to operate.

“Mas mabuti na talagang enganyuhin ang PUVs natin. Huwag nating limitahan. Sapagkat sila naman po ay may special permit o may prangkisa. Mas makatutulong po sa atin yan,” he said.

(Better we really entice our PUVs. Do not limit them. Because they already have special permits and franchises. It would help us more.)

Rivera made the statement when asked if PASADA CC would want to appeal the number of vehicles and passenger capacity allowed for PUVs.

With the problems in public transport, he pointed out that the recovery of the economy will be slow.

Currently, only up to 70% passenger capacity is allowed for PUVs.

Rivera suggested for the government to improve its efforts for vaccination in local government units to curb the spread of COVID-19 instead of imposing passenger caps on PUVs. —KBK, GMA News

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