By Alexandria San Juan
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is now studying the resumption of partial operability of some modes of public transportation, amid the uncertainty of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
“Kung papayagan ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force), mag-papartial operability tayo pero ‘yung operational capacity will be abbreviated at mababawasan upang mamaintain ‘yung mga patakaran ng Department of Health (DOH) sa social distancing (If the IATF will allow it, we will resume partial operability of several modes of public transportation, but its operational capacity will be abbreviated and reduced),” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
In a Laging Handa press briefing on April 22, Wednesday, Tugade bared that the Department and the IATF are now discussing the possible partial resumption of the rail system and buses, even as the crisis continues.
According to Tugade, should this be approved, operations of the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2, Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Philippine National Railway, as well as buses, will only be at 30 percent capacity to maintain social distancing protocols among passenger.
Apart from physical distancing, Tugade added that other health measures to prevent the spread of the disease will also be put in place.
“Kapag in-approve ng IATF, ime-maintain natin ‘yung mga health protocols gaya ng social distancing, ‘no mask, no ride,’ thermal scanning, at iba pa. Kailangan ginagawa rin ito at hindi lang pagsakay sa sasakyan kundi pati na rin si pila (If approved by the IATF, we will maintain health protocols such as social distancing, a ‘no mask, no ride’ policy, thermal scanning, among others. These steps should be done not only inside the vehicle but also in waiting areas),” he added.
The whole of Luzon remains under enhanced community quarantine, which includes the shutdown of all public transportation services as strict home quarantine is being enforced.