Rappler Talk: Anton Siy on commuting during the coronavirus lockdown

Rappler Talk: Anton Siy on commuting during the coronavirus lockdown
We speak to Pasig's transport chief: How long can a metropolis last without public transport? And does its absence actually help contain the pandemic?

MANILA, Philippines – With all public transport grounded, the people whose jobs exclude them from coronavirus lockdowns in different parts of the country are faced with a predicament: how to get to work.

And what of the elderly and the infirm who need to get to hospitals, and who do not drive or own cars?

Anton Siy is Pasig City’s chief transport planner who earned his MA on transport economics from the Institute of Transport Studies in the University of Leeds in the UK. Ever since Metro Manila went into “enhanced community quarantine” on March 17, he’s seen a throng of people in an “arduous walk” to and from their workplaces every day.

Pasig had proposed a solution: letting tricycles make limited trips. They are, after all, the most ubiquitous and affordable means of point-to-point transport in the city, and they’re nimble enough to reach narrow alleys in the most congested residential communities.

That’s on top of the city government’s fleet of buses, vans, and bicycles, which even in full force just weren’t enough to take on the health workers, security officers, grocery store staff, and other frontliners in the battle against the novel coronavirus.

In this episode of Rappler Talk, Siy speaks to multimedia reporter JC Gotinga to walk us through the ways Pasig is trying to remedy the situation. He also tells us why we cannot go on without public transport for very long – and how its absence might even botch the lockdown as an attempt to quell the pandemic.

Bookmark this page to watch the interview starting 10 am on Friday, March 27. – Rappler.com


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