Gordon urges gov’t to reconsider ‘no vaccine, no ride’ policy, pushes for amplified vaccination coverage
Senator Richard J. Gordon has urged the government to reconsider its ‘no vaccine, no ride’ public transportation policy as majority of Filipinos have yet to be fully vaccinated.
Gordon, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman, instead pushed to intensify the vaccination drive as many of the unvaccinated are from the lower income classes.
“Hindi ako masyadong pabor diyan. Pinagaaralan ko pa. I'll tell you at the outset. Pero kontra mahirap iyan. Dahil kung ang tao natin ay 108 million, ang nabakunahan, 54 million. Papaano ang balance noon?” said Gordon during a radio interview.
“Di pa nababakunahan, 54 million pa ang hindi pa natin nababakunahan. Paano iyon? Ang dapat gawin ay lawakan ang pagbabakuna,” he added.
It may be recalled that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) implemented its policy on Monday, where many were left inconvenienced with the constant inspection of state implementors.
Scores of unvaccinated and people jabbed with just one dose were turned away and ejected from public transportation after failing to provide proof of complete vaccination.
Gordon previously mentioned that people cannot be forced to get vaccinated, but establishments could enhance policies that would protect their vaccinated patrons.
The PRC, the country's largest humanitarian organization, remains a driving force in augmenting the government’s desire to fully vaccinate around 70 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity.
“We have 19 [Red Cross mobile] buses na umiikot sa buong bansa. Eh kung minsan, nagkakasakit rin ang mga 'yan. So ang dapat gawin talaga, ang gawin ng gobyerno ay magbigay ng face masks, dahil yun talaga ang unang depensa,” remarked Gordon.
“‘Yun talagang health protocols, dapat sundin — yung tinatawag natin sa mga tao na maghugas ng kamay madalas, makakatulong ‘yan,” he pointed out.
Gordon continued that minimum health protocols, such as frequent handwashing and keeping their distance must remain to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Per the health department, the country has conducted 119.7 million doses, as 55.58 million now considered as fully vaccinated, 59 million receiving their first dose, and 5.1 million getting a booster dose.
Based on the latest figures of the PRC, they have administered 861,506 doses, with 319,656 achieving two doses through its two Bakuna Centers, and two Bakuna Bus deployments.
It also remains as the country’s largest testing facility, conducting about 5.7 million swab and saliva samples, amounting to about 19 percent of the country's testing capability.