MANILA, Philippines – Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles rejected the appeal of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto’s move to allow tricycles to operate on a limited capacity during the Luzon-wide lockdown, as it puts passengers and drivers at risk of catching the novel coronavirus.
In a press briefing on Wednesday night, March 18, Nograles insisted that local government units can use other vehicles like jeepneys to transport frontline workers.
“Concerned ang gobyerno dito sa paggamit ng tricycle dahil hindi namin lubos makita o maintindihan paano mag-social distancing sa tricycle,” Nograles said.
(The government is concerned by the use of tricycles because we don’t see how social distancing can be observed in such a cramped space.)
“Let’s all stick to the common ground rules,” he added.
Sotto has allowed tricycles to continue conveying passengers in Pasig for now, as the city government does not have enough vehicles to give all commuters exempted from the Luzon-wide lockdown a ride.
“We’re using our vehicles but it’s not enough. Our risk assessment shows that we can’t ban tricycles at this point,” Sotto said on Tuesday.
Sotto insisted that there are places in Pasig that are accessible only by tricycle.
Only people exempted from the quarantine may take tricycles. They include health workers, security forces, employees of essential services such as food and groceries, and media workers.
Only 3 passengers are allowed on each tricycle that can normally cram up to 6 people in a single trip.
The government highly encourages people to be at least 1 meter apart to minimize the risk of getting the virus. – Rappler.com
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