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.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos also announced on Monday that the local governments in the country’s capital would implement stricter measures for unvaccinated individuals.
Under the new guidelines, unvaccinated individuals should remain inside their homes except when buying necessities, going to work, or other essential activities. They are also barred from domestic travels using public transportation (land, air, and sea) except when procuring essential goods. – Rappler.com