By Ellson Quismorio
House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate empathized Thursday with local government officials regarding the question of whether or not to allow tricycles to operate during the month-long enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.
Zarate acknowledged the difficulty in this decision among mayors, and said he would rather that local government units (LGUs) treat it as a case-to-case basis.
“LGUs should make certain adjustments if necessary. After all, they are the ones who know the situation on the ground,” reckoned the Makabayan Bloc congressman.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto drew flak from national government officials, particularly Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, on Wednesday night for seeking the continued operation of local tricycles during the implementation of the ECQ.
Sotto supposedly wants to use trikes to transport frontline health workers and patients to hospitals.
But Nograles doubted the proper enforcement of “social distancing”–which is said to be vital in halting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) virus–in these tricycles.
The Palace-ordered ECQ over Luzon suspended all type of mass transportation and highly encouraged everyone in the quarantine area to stay at home.
Zarate praised Sotto for his efforts so far in protecting his constituents from the deadly illness.
He went so far as to say that Sotto should be emulated by his fellow Metro Manila mayors. “Siya ang dapat na tularan nila (They should follow his example).”
The Pasig mayor, who toppled a local dynasty in last year’s midterm elections, has made headlines online for tapping drones as a disinfection tool, as well as assuring the continued salary of city hall employees, including job order workers.