Provincial buses still not allowed in Metro Manila

Provincial buses still cannot resume operations in Metro Manila, which has stayed under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the end of the month, Malacañang said Thursday.

Cockfighting likewise remained prohibited in areas under GCQ and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

"Wala pong desisyon iyan, so bawal pa rin po ang mga provincial buses (There is no decision yet so provincial buses are still not allowed)," Roque sad during a televised press briefing when asked about the decision on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the provincial buses.

Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya earlier said the task force is expected to discuss whether or not to allow provincial buses to enter Metro Manila. He said there was no final decision yet on the matter, citing concerns that the coronavirus rapidly spreads in transportation.

"Lumalabas po sa mga pag-aaral sa iba’t ibang bansa na transportation is one of the fastest ways to spread COVID-19. So antabayanan na lang po natin kung magkakaroon na ng desisyon ang IATF. Sa ngayon po, wala pa (Studies have shown in different countries that transportation is one of the fastest ways to spread COVID-19. So let's wait if the IATF will issue a decision. For now, there is none)," Malaya said during a public briefing on state television Wednesday, September 2.

Provincial buses have not been allowed on Metro Manila roads despite the gradual resumption of the operations of public transportation. Some provinces have reportedly closed their borders for buses going to and from the capital region as precaution against the coronavirus outbreak.

On cockfighting, Roque said: "Prohibited pa po, hindi pa po iyan pinapayagan (It is still prohibited. That's not allowed)."

The government has restricted amusement and gaming activities under the strict lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.