By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Mandaluyong City has approved the limited operation of tricycles within its borders as the city transitions into modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
Mayor Carmelita Abalos said all tricycle drivers have to undergo a random COVID-19 rapid testing before they will be allowed back on the streets.
“Drivers who will be reactive in the test will undergo a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in compliance with the protocols of the Department of Health (DOH),” Abalos said.
City Public Information Officer Jimmy Isidro, who is also Abalos’s chief-of-staff, said the local government has set guidelines for tricycle drivers and operators to follow once their operations resume on a limited basis.
“We will allow it but there will be certain guidelines to be followed in order to ensure the safety of the passengers,” he said.
Based on the initial guidelines that were discussed in a meeting on Friday (May 15), Isidro said only one passenger will be allowed per tricycle, and back riding is prohibited.
He said a plastic barrier must be installed between the driver and the passenger. Drivers are also required to wear face masks and gloves.
Isidro said the operation of tricycles is expected to resume next week once the new fare matrix will be finalized.
The approved fare matrix will be posted inside the vehicle, as well as the name of the driver, indicating that they tested negative for the disease.
“This is to allay the fears of the passengers,” Isidro explained.
According to him, tricycle drivers will be grouped into two and will only be allowed to operate on their assigned schedule.
“They will have a schedule in order to observe the 50 percent operation,” he said, adding that there will be exemptions in emergency situations. #