Philippines: Two More Senators Speak Out Scrapping ‘No Vax, No Ride’ Policy

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A January 18, 2022 article published in MSN News, initially published in The Inquirer, reported that Senator Kiko Pangilinan and Senator Panfilo Lacson have called to scrap the no vaccination, no ride policy being implemented by the Local Government Unit (LGU) in Metro Manila.

According to the report, Senator Pangilinan believes that this “draconian” policy will all the more punish the poor, who will now be prevented from using public transportation unless they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Also, Pangilinan said it is unfair to attribute the rise of COVID-19 cases to unvaccinated individuals because there is no science backing this claim. Besides, he said, vaccinated individuals are still prone to carry the virus.

“Kahit na ikulong pang lahat ang mga di pa napabakunahan, kakalat pa rin ang COVID dahil merong mga bakunado na asymptomatic,” Pangilinan said, referring to another policy suggesting to bar the unvaccinated from leaving home. (Even if you jail all unvaccinated individuals, COVID will continue to spread because there are vaccinated who are asymptomatic)

Whereas, instead of completely halting it, Senator Panfilo Lacson urged the government to take a second hard look at this new policy.

“Not stop but take a second hard look at the policy,” Lacson said in a separate text message when sought for comment on Pangilinan’s call. “Gather more data and study further the science behind the policy, particularly the effect of full vaccination vs. transmissibility, not to mention the human rights aspect on the poor who have no choice but commute to earn their daily meals.”

Lacson added, “Speaking for myself, I am fully vaccinated and boosted, but I got infected by the Omicron variant. Many of my friends and relatives, similarly situated, also got the Omicron virus.”

Editor’s Note: Despite these senators still pushing for inoculation, their call to halt the no vax, no ride policy is a small win for us fighting against the mandatory vaccine.

This becomes a favorable window for us to eliminate discrimination, even partially.

Note, however, that Pangilinan and Lacson have signed Senate Bill 2422; this bill pursues amendment to RA 11525 and institutes a health passport system in the Philippines [see Philippine Senators File Bill to Make Health Passports Mandatory].

From their own mouth, they are all jabbed and boosted, same with their family and friends, and yet they have been infected with covid. This is evidence enough that the claim of IATF Resolution 148-B[1] https://mirror.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2021/11nov/20211111-IATF-Resolution-148B.pdf, item 4 is erroneous.

WHEREAS, COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are considered safe and effective, and, based on currently available evidence, have been shown to (1) prevent symptomatic infection (2) prevent severe infection and (3) prevent transmission.

LGUs that have adapted this IATF Resolution 148-B is issuing executive orders that are unscientific and baseless. It’s a mere discriminatory policy whose goal is to restrict the movement of the vaccine-free. [See What are the Constitutional and Scientific Bases for Restricting Movements of Vaccine-Free Citizens when COVID-19 Infects Anyone Regardless of Vaccination Status?]

Numerous Filipinos suffered discrimination because they held water for their constitutional right and RA 11525; however, their voices were heard through the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO). The latter have opened their doors to indigent complainants. [See Public Attorney’s Office Welcomes Complainants Who are Victims of Mandatory Vaccination and Discrimination.]

We, the vaccine-free and constitutional abiders, will push for what is right. This fight is not merely for our own interest; this is to save society and future generations. We can not leave them in the hands of the government that violates constitutional rights just for their personal gain.

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