By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday, April 30, said that selected modes of public transportation will now be allowed in areas covered by the general community quarantine (GCQ), provided that the one-meter distancing and other additional preventive measures are in place.
In a news briefing in Malacañang, Año cited that thermal scanning and hand sanitation will be the new normal for the public transport system. He also said that jeepneys will still not be allowed to ply their routes in areas covered by the GCQ.
Stressing his point, Año explained the configuration of the passenger jeepneys where the commuters are seated and facing each other is not suitable for physical distancing.
He noted that passengers who alight the vehicle as they pass by the other passengers brings in risks for the other commuters from inhaling his droplets.
Año noted that the Department of Transportation (DoTr) will soon release the guidelines for the public utility vehicles (PUV) that will be allowed to travel on the GCQ covered areas.
With the social distancing imposed on buses, Año stressed that only 50 percent will be accommodated under this setup. This means that if the usual capacity of the bus is 50, 25 will now have to be accommodated due to the physical distancing policy, according to Año.
With the High Task Force, Año emphasized that the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will join forces in ensuring that physical distancing is strictly followed.