Following a spike of COVID-19 cases that plunged Metro Manila back to Alert Level 3 status, it looks like the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is tightening up security measures for some of its branches.
In an official announcement, the LTO bared that its Manila Licensing Center and Manila North District Office now require vaccination cards upon entry. These offices are within JT Centrale Mall—an establishment mandated to bar unvaccinated individuals from entry.
That mandate itself stems from a recent Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) resolution that advised local government units (LGUs) to pass ordinances to limit the movement of unvaccinated persons. Since then, multiple institutions have complied with the directive.
The MMDA will coordinate with LGUs to implement these ground-level policies. With rumblings of the return of traffic checkpoints, it may become harder to get by without getting the jab. There is currently no national law that requires vaccination for individuals, but policies like this encourage citizens to do their part in making everyone safer.
The LTO reminds fully vaccinated visitors to observe minimum public health standards at their appointments. Visitors will also need to present their vaccination cards for identification and validation.
Although there have been no announcements, more LTO branches may eventually shut their doors to unvaccinated people. It could be concerning for vaccine-less motorists, as this directive effectively shuts them out of license renewal, vehicle registrations, and other appointments.
LTO offices draw crowds on even average days, inviting hundreds of transactions at any given time. We might see their foot traffic go down for now, at least until more people get vaccinated. In any case, motorists will have to adjust to the new rules. If you're planning on renewing your driver's license or vehicle registration at any of the two sites mentioned above, you'll have to get the vaccine.