The Philippines on Tuesday tallied 28,471 new COVID-19 infections, as workers were exempted from the "no vaccination, no ride" policy that took effect in Metro Manila to arrest the surge in cases.
The day's tally brought active cases to 284,458, with a total of 34,892 new recoveries and 34 new deaths reported.
Overall, a total of 3,270,758 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the pandemic began in March 2020, of which 2,933,338 have recovered and 52,962 died.
The "no vaccination, no ride" policy is implemented under Alert Level 3 or higher in the capital region, covering travel by land, rail, sea, and air. Filipinos outside Metro Manila looking to enter for work and travel will also be required to present proof of vaccination.
Passengers must present physical or digital copies of their vaccine cards, vaccination certificates from the Department of Health, or any government-prescribed document along with a valid government-issued ID with picture and address to public transport operators.
On Tuesday, the Department of Labor and Employment said workers will be exempted from the policy.
"Exempted po ang workers natin because they are rendering essential services. Pag hininto mo ang mga 'yan paano gagalaw ang ating mga negosyo?" Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello told reporters.
The Department of Transportation defended the new policy, saying that it was meant to protect the public and avoid a shutdown of public transportation during the latest COVID-19 surge. There are also exemptions to the "no vaccine, no ride" rule apart from workers.
"We believe that it is more anti-poor and anti-life if we will not impose interventions that will prevent loss of life due to non-vaccinations," it said.
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