DOTr limits public transport operations during Metro Manila lockdown

Aika Rey
(UPDATED) The Department of Transportation suspends motorcycle taxi operations and the Philippine National Railway train route from Alabang to Calamba in Laguna, and limits passenger capacity of PUVs

SUSPENDED. PNR services from Alabang to Calambang is suspended, among other PUVs. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The  Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Saturday, March 14, announced suspended and limited operations of various modes of public transportation during the Metro Manila lockdown that begins on Sunday, March 15.

This includes the temporary suspension of motorcycle taxi operations and the Philippine National Railway train route from Alabang to Calamba in Laguna.

During a news briefing on Saturday, tansportation officials read the supplementary guidelines on implementing the travel restrictions during the metrowide quarantine.


  • Provincial buses, jeepneys, UV express with interregional operations to and from Metro Manila
  • Multiple bookings for a single trip such as GrabShare
  • Motorcycle taxis (Angkas, JoyRide, MoveIt)
  • PNR Alabang to Calamba
  • Passenger sea vessels to and from Metro Manila are suspended
  • Domestic flights: All domestic flights are cancelled except cargo flights, air ambulance and medical supplies, government and military flights, weather mitigation flights, and maintenance and utility flights
  • General aviation: All general aviation flights in NAIA are cancelled, and will be diverted to either Sangley Airport and Clark Airport

Reduced passenger capacity (all one seat apart)

  • Taxis, ride-hailing companies: Not more than 4 passengers, including driver
  • UV Express: Not more than 6 passengers, including drivers
  • Old jeepney units: Not more than half of the seating capacity, including the driver
  • Public utility buses: Not more than 25 passengers, including the driver and conductor, no passengers must be standing
  • Class 2 and Class 3 PUVs: Not more than half of the seating capacity, including the driver, no passengers must be standing
  • Trains: Around 250 to 300 passengers will be allowed entry, one-meter social distancing will be implemented
  • Ferry services within capital region: Not more than 50% of capacity.
  • Ships plying routes within NCR: It will be allowed to dock in ferry terminals near Metro Manila like Batangas and Subic.
  • International flights: Special airport-to-airport trips arranged by the airlines will be allowed. Passengers are still allowed to terminate flight and arrange own transport within Manila. One-meter radius distance from other passengers will be implemented.

DOTr said that all passengers with flu-like symptoms and a temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius  will be denied entry in terminals. All PUV drivers and conductors must wear face masks all the time too, the it added.

Cargo trucks and vans from the Port of Manila will be required to have a cargo entry permit from the Philippine Ports Authority.

Officials called the move as “community quarantine” – which is similar to a lockdown – of the entire Metro Manila to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease called COVID-19.

It will be restricting “non-essential” land, air, and sea travel from the capital region to any point in the country starting March 15 at 12:01 am. (READ: What we know so far: The Metro Manila coronavirus lockdown)

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the Metro Manila lockdown on Thursday night, March 12, prompting thousands of Filipinos to rush to airports, seaports, and bus terminals to leave Metro Manila ahead of the lockdown. (READ: Questions Filipinos are asking about the coronavirus lockdown–

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at