public transportation

DOTr orders transport sector to ensure 70% passenger capacity

Jairo Bolledo
DOTr orders transport sector to ensure 70% passenger capacity

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Commuters inside a passenger jeepney at Tandang Sora, PUJ Terminal in Quezon City on September 15, 2020. Some health experts disagree DOTru2019s and IATF new directive to reduce social distancing onboard public transport from one meter to 0.75 on Monday.

Darren Langit/Rappler

Both the LTO and LTFRB issue memoranda to ensure that health protocols are being followed inside public utility vehicles

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday, January 3, ordered the public transportation sector to ensure that the 70% passenger capacity was being implemented in Metro Manila. 

In a memorandum issued by the Land Transportation Office on Sunday, January 2, the land-based sector was reminded to closely monitor the drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles (PUV). The order was made on top of ensuring the limited capacity of PUVs. 

Aside from the LTO, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) also issued a memorandum to drivers, including PUV passengers, to follow the basic health protocols inside public transportations. 

The DOTr enforces the following health guidelines inside PUVs:

  • Wearing of face masks
  • No talking and making phone calls
  • No eating
  • Keeping public utility vehicles well ventilated
  • Conducting frequent disinfection
  • No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside the public transportation
  • Observing appropriate physical distancing rule

According to the LTFRB, the violation of health protocols in PUVs are considered violations of franchise conditions. If proven guilty of not enforcing the rules, drivers may face criminal complaints and their licenses may be suspended, according to the transportation department. 

In a statement, DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor said the transportation department’s Road Sector would ensure that the rules were being followed. 

“The DOTr Road Sector will make sure that the maximum passenger capacity is strictly followed. As COVID-19 cases increase in the NCR, we are urging our transport stakeholders, especially the riding public, to observe health protocols, and to be wary of PUVs not following the allowable capacity. This is the only way we can help in reducing the number of infections,” Pastor said. 

On the last day of 2021, the Philippine government has announced that Metro Manila will revert to stricter Alert Level 3 amid the rising COVID-19 infections.

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.