‘More public transport vehicles better than less physical distancing’, says Año

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday stressed that deploying additional public transport vehicles for commuters is better than reducing the physical distancing among passengers.


In an interview over ANC, Año admitted preferring to maintain the one-meter distance among passengers in public transport vehicles.

However, Año emphasized that decreasing the distance among the commuters is a "collective decision".

"Personally, I would like to abide by the one-meter standard of physical distancing. If we can actually provide more transport to our people rather than reducing the distance,’’ Año said.

In a text message, Año said that he had proposed a review “on the resolution. The health sectors will present their side tomorrow (September 15)’’.

In an interview over DZRH, former National Task Force (NTF) adviser Dr. Antonio Leachon pointed out that the most significant safeguard against COVID-19 remains physical distancing.

He added that wearing face masks and face shields only complements physical distancing.

For his part, Quezon City Fourth District Rep. Jesus “Bong” Suntay asked the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to open more routes for public transport.

He insisted that merely reducing the distance among passengers inside public transport will not solve the riding woes of the commuters.

However, Suntay saw no problem in the reduction of the distance among passengers in the trains from one meter to .75 meter.

Año said the national government would continue to monitor the effects of this new regulation. 

He noted that adjustments in its implementation will be in the offing if it brings negative results in public health.

"There will be marshals in the public transportation and then we will review and of course monitor, we will check what is really the effect of this deduction of the distance and this (is) still subject for changes if there are adverse effects on this deduction of distance," Año said.