Strict implementation of health protocols in public transportation sought

Published August 16, 2020, 1:15 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

House Transportation panel chair Samar  Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento sought Sunday consistent and strict implementation of health protocols in public transportation, particularly the wearing of face shields that would help slow and prevent further transmission of COVID-19 among commuting public and transportation workers.

(Photo by Miggy Hilario / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The House leader said he is counting on the transportation authorities to fully implement the mandatory wearing of face shields among the public transport commuters amid the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country, even as he appealed to the public to follow the norms laid down by the government to ensure public safety. 

“Dapat permanente po at consistent sa ginagawa natin na minimum health standard (The implementation of minimum heath standard should be permanent and consistent). Napakasimple ng sinasabing DoH (Department of Health) , ang sinasabi ng WHO (World Health Organization), saka ng IATF (InterAgency Task Force), at pati na rin si Presidente, (What the DoH, the WHO, the IATF, and even the President are telling us is very simple), sundin natin ang basic protocols (let’s us follow the basic protocols),” he told DZBB in an interview. 

In its Memorandum Circular 2020-014 issued on Aug. 3, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) required passengers using  all modes of public transportation to wear both face shields and face masks beginning Aug. 15, the same day the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) required employees to wear face shields in workplaces.

Sarmiento recalled that when the government opened up the economy and placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under the general community quarantine (GCQ), there were recorded cases of COVID-19 in the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) among its employees. 

“Napakalaki po ng apekto ng pandemic na ito (This pandemic has huge impact). Tayo po ay biglang umarangkada (Our cases suddenly surged), ngayon ay nasa No. 1  tayo sa Asia (now, we are No. 1 in Asia). Nakikiusap po tayo sa nakikinig at nanonood (We are appealing to our listeners and viewers), ang pakiusap ng inyong Chairman (the appeal of your Chairman), ng inyong public servant, (of your public servant), nandyan  pa po ang pandemic (the pandemic is still there), gawin natin ang nararapat na sinasabi po (we should do what we must do), sana maipababa po natin ang numero ng infection (to reduce the number of cases of infection),” he said.