‘No vaccine card, no entry’ policy starts in Cotabato City  

NO VAX, NO ENTRY POLICY. A long queue of public and private vehicles along one of the city’s entry points while the no vaccine certificate no entry policy was being enforced on Sunday (Jan. 16, 2022). Cotabato City has been placed under Alert Level 3 for Covid-19 by the national IATF from Jan. 16 to 31, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Cotabato City IATF)

COTABATO CITY, Jan. 18 – Authorities here have started implementing a “no vaccination card, no entry” policy for all persons entering the city from adjoining Maguindanao province.

Rolen Balquin, city public safety officer, said on Monday that police and members of city inter-agency task force manning entry points in the city’s north and south borders would be asking for vaccination certificates or vaccination cards on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) upon entry to the locality.

“The policy has started Sunday (Jan. 16, 2022),” he said.

Balquin said the measure is being imposed to prevent a further spike in Covid-19 infections in the city.

Based on the latest monitoring of the local Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19, the city has 38 new Covid-19 infections over the weekend, raising the total number of cumulative infections to 4,519 where 106 are active.

The city also has a cumulative total of 154 fatalities due to Covid-19 related diseases. Balquin warned the public against the use of fake vaccination cards as violators will be charged accordingly.

Without presenting exact numbers, Balquin said several commuters, including passengers, and those onboard private vehicles were denied entry for failure to present vaccine cards.

Since the national IAFT categorized the city under Alert Level 3, a massive information campaign has been launched to inform the public about the two basic requirements for entering the city.

IATF personnel demand Quick Response passcode and vaccination certificate or vaccination cards from all those coming to the city.

Mayor Cynthia Guiani Sayadi, the local IATF chair, earlier denied reports circulating in social media that a lockdown will be imposed and that the “no movement Sunday” will be restored.

“All we ask are QR codes and vaccination certificates,” she said in a statement.

A city health worker asking anonymity said after repeatedly refusing to be immunized, many residents have started expressing the desire to get vaccinated due to the new policy.

To date, the city has 115,263 fully vaccinated individuals or about 52.90 percent of the total eligible population.

The city hopes to reach a 70 percent vaccination rate within the first quarter of 2022 for the most-awaited mass immunity. 


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