By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Senator Francis N. Pangilinan on Monday asked the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease to review and improve its lockdown protocols on checkpoints to address the required social distancing in stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Pangilinan issued the statement after noticing that thousands of commuters of MRT, buses, and jeepneys were stopped and had to line up at stations and checkpoints at the National Capital Region (NCR) as the government started yesterday its community quarantine policy.
The guidelines on social distancing should be clear as millions of commuters coming into the NCR area are affected, he said.
While social distancing means that passengers should be far apart, televisions show fully-packed jeepneys and buses.
‘’For one, those at the checkpoints should have adequate number of thermal scanners and protective gear for our public servants, soldiers, and policemen assigned at these checkpoints, otherwise these crowded areas may become the breeding ground of the disease, putting everyone at risk. For another, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should, in consultation with industry leaders, recommend staggered work hours to limit the rush-hour period for workers travelling to and from work.