MANILA – The Department of Transport (DOTr) said there would be no change in the supply and capacity of public transport as the National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna and Bataan were demoted from quarantine Community Enhanced (ECQ) to the Least Restrictive Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from August 21 to 31.
With the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continuing to spread and the threat posed by new variants of Covid-19, DOTr Secretary Art Tugade reminded commuters and transport workers to observe measures strict health and safety standards.
He again stated that only authorized persons outside residence (APOR) identified by the Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will be allowed to use public transport services.
“As the threat of Covid-19 and Delta variant cases escalates, the public must remain vigilant, especially in the use of public transport. Just like during the ECQ period, there will be a stricter application of security measures to ensure that only APORs are allowed to use public transport, as required by the IATF, ”Tugade said in a press release on Friday. .
With the application of the MECQ in the NCR, public transport, and all other modes of transport – private, with special permits, and / or dedicated service at the initiative of the government, etc., – will always strictly respect distancing prescribed physical. and sanitary measures at all times.
In the road transport sector, public service buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% of their maximum capacity under the “one seat apart” rule. There will be no standing passengers and only one passenger is allowed to sit in the driver’s row.
Motorcycle taxi services and Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) operations are permitted. Only one passenger per tricycle is allowed, as approved by the Home Office and Local Governments (DILG) and Local Government Units (LGU) in accordance with existing policies on its operational limits.
In the rail sector, Philippine National Railways (PNR), LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 operations will continue during the MECQ. Train marshals will be deployed to identify APORs and to help enforce strict health and safety protocols.
In the air and maritime sectors, domestic flights and maritime travel in the NCR will also continue during the MECQ, subject to community quarantine restrictions of the passenger’s destination.
Meanwhile, the Interagency Traffic Council (I-ACT) and Transportation Stewards will continue to ensure motorists adhere to safety protocols during the MECQ.
Tugade reminded the public and other transport actors to follow the 7 commandments of public transport: wear masks and face shields, do not speak and make phone calls, do not eat, keep public service vehicles well ventilated, proceed to frequent disinfection, non passengers showing symptoms of Covid-19 should be allowed inside public transport vehicles and obey the appropriate physical distancing rules. (RP)