The Provincial Government of Tarlac announced that it will begin to impose restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated and non-fully vaccinated individuals amid the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the province.
The imposition of the restrictions is through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Ordinance No. 01-2022 passed on January 12 titled: “An Ordinance Regulating the Mobility of Unvaccinated and Non-Fully Vaccinated Individuals Within the Territorial Jurisdiction of the Province of Tarlac.”
The ordinance, signed by Governor Susan Yap, Vice Governor Carlito “Casada” David and all the thirteen board members of the province, is aimed to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among the people of Tarlac province.
The ordinance states that all unvaccinated and non-fully vaccinated individuals in the Province of Tarlac shall remain in their residences at all times except for the procurement of essential goods and services; prohibited in indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants and other food establishments and shall likewise be prohibited from leisure or social trips; prohibited in domestic travel via public transportation by land, sea, and air except for the procurement of essential goods and services; required to undergo a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction [RT PCR] test every two weeks at their personal expense and present a COVID-19 negative result prior to being admitted for work onsite consistent with the guidelines, rules, and regulations issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force [IATF] and the Department of Labor and Employment;
The restrictions likewise include individuals who reside outside of Tarlac who work and or travel in and out of the province.
Individuals who violated the ordinance shall be charged with the penalties of P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense and P3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.
The ordinance also states that any establishment found to be in violation of this Ordinance shall be charged with P3,000 fine for the first offense; P5,000, suspension of business permit and temporary closure order for the second offense and P5,000, cancellation of business permit and closure order for the third offense.
The regulation is subject to further guidelines or orders of the IATF or the Office of the President.
The ordinance will be in force and shall remain effective while the COVID-19 alert level in the Province of Tarlac is at Alert Level 2 or higher and shall be automatically lifted once Alert Level 1 is declared.
According to the vice governor, the adoption of the said resolution was made primarily “to save lives and livelihood.”
“Unvaccinated individuals are at a higher risk if infected with the virus. The regulation of the mobility of this vulnerable segment of the population is also a better alternative to a total lockdown that affects the entire economy,” Lino said in a statement.
The province-wide enforcement of the restriction focuses on areas with a high possibility of COVID-19 transmission such as public transportation and closed spaces, and areas which have seen increased COVID-19 cases and low vaccination rates.
Meanwhile, fully vaccinated individuals who wish to enter public and private establishments are then required to present proof of vaccination and a valid government ID with their picture and address.
Unvaccinated people are required to stay in their homes at all times under the MMDA resolution, with the exception of buying needed goods and services such as food, water, medical services, public utilities, and work.
They are also forbidden from indoor and outdoor or al fresco dining in restaurants and other food establishments, leisure and social trips to malls, hotels, event venues, sports, country clubs, and similar facilities.
Traveling via public transit — except for the procurement of essential goods and services — is likewise prohibited.
Individual outdoor activity is still, however, permitted for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, age, or comorbidities.
Arvin F. M. Cabalu