The Quezon City Council has passed an Ordinance regulating the mobility of persons unvaccinated for COVID-19 in Quezon City.

The City Ordinance, which was approved on third and final reading, was introduced by Councilors Eric Medina, Franz Pumaren, Donny Matias, and Jun Ferrer, Jr. It was proposed after the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Metor Manila Council issued Resolution No.22-01, series of 2022, urging local government units to enact ordinances for enhanced restrictions on persons not vaccinated for COVID-19.

In accordance with the MMDA Resolution, the Ordinance provides that unvaccinated persons may leave home only for essential reasons, such as work, food or medical services. They may not enter establishments for dine-in or other leisure reasons. Also, non-fully vaccinated workers must undergo a COVID-19 test every two weeks at their personal expense.

However, the QC Council added a provision giving employers the option to provide a non-vaccinated worker a grace period of one month to obtain his/her first COVID-19 vaccination shot. As long as the worker obtains the first shot within the grace period, and subsequently obtains any required second shot as prescribed for the concerned vaccine, the worker shall not be required to take the bi-weekly test.

“The City Council included a grace period in recognition of the significant expense of a COVID test. We also recognize that many unvaccinated persons come from our depressed communities,” Vice Mayor Gian Sotto said.

The City Council also added that a worker with a medical condition that prevents full COVID-19 vaccination may be exempted from biweekly COVID tests, provided that he or she submits a medical certification from a physician.

The Ordinance penalizes individual violators with a fine of P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second and P3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

On the other hand, the Ordinance penalizes establishments found in violation with a fine of P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 and suspension of business permit for the second offense, and P5,000 and cancellation of business permit for the third offense.

Also, any person that falsifies the COVID-19 vaccine card may be prosecuted under Ordinance SP 3032-2021, also known as “Ordinance Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud,” without prejudice to prosecution under other applicable laws.

“We recognize the inconvenience this Ordinance may place on some people. However, we must remember that lives are at stake. We all must support the national government’s urgent call for a vaccine mandate, especially given the new surge in cases. We appeal to those not yet vaccinated to get their shots as soon as they can. Also, we encourage those who have not yet gotten their booster shots to do the same,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.