The Joint Task Force COVID Shield will tap leaders of Transport Operators and Drivers Association (TODAs) in enforcing the strict implementation of the minimum health standard protocol including the mandatory wearing of face shields in public utility vehicles and workplaces.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said he had already tasked all police commanders to meet with TODA leaders, particularly groups of tricycle operators and drivers, in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AOR) for this.
Eleazar issued the order over reports that some tricycle drivers, especially in the provinces, are not wearing face masks and do not observe physical distancing for their passengers while plying their routes.
“This must be addressed immediately especially that the passengers or the drivers themselves could be virus carriers already. There should be no room for defiance and complacency because all of our sacrifices for almost five months now would be useless if we continue to allow them to violate the quarantine rules,” said Eleazar.
“If this calls for the arrest or cancellation of the driver’s license or the franchise, so be it. These hard-headed people must be taught a serious lesson that they cannot just disregard the minimum health safety standard protocol at the expense of the majority of our law-abiding citizens, at the expense of our frontliners especially our health workers who have already sacrificed enough in taking care of our infected kababayan,” he added.
Eleazar said the meeting with local leaders of Transport Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) is aimed at encouraging their full support in policing their own ranks and eventually ensure the safety of their members and the passengers from coronavirus infection.
The National Task Force on COVID-19 made it clear to operators and drivers of PUVs that the minimum health safety standard protocol for both the drivers and passengers must be observed in exchange for allowing them to operate.
Part of the Phase 2 of the National Action Plan on COVID-19 is for industries and groups like TODA to be involved and responsible in ensuring that the minimum health standard protocols are observed within their ranks.
Eleazar expressed belief that TODA leaders would play a key role in the enforcement of healthy safety standard protocols since they have their own respective disciplinary measures for their erring members.
“In this time of pandemic when everybody is prone to infection, let us make it an obligation to protect ourselves for the sake of our family, for the sake of our community, for the sake of our country. We are all frontliners in this fight against COVID-19, let us do our share in winning this battle,” said Eleazar.