The Philippine National Police (PNP) has intensified the visibility of its personnel in all the bus terminals of the transport companies which were allowed to transport commuters to and from Metro Manila starting September 30.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for Administration and commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said the move is to ensure order and discipline in bus terminals which are expected to be crowded with passengers heading to Metro Manila.
“We need to ensure that both the bus company employees and the passengers will observe the minimum health safety standard protocol especially on the aspects of wearing face masks and face shields and the observation of physical distancing inside the passenger buses,” said Eleazar.
At least 12 modified Metro Manila-bound bus routes were allowed to operate in a move to normalize the transportation and eventually revive the economy which was severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 12 modified bus routes include buses coming from Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas and Laguna.
The conditions set for the resumption of Metro Manila-bound bus operations include prohibition on picking up passengers outside of the terminals, no eating, drinking and talking inside the passenger buses and prohibition in making and taking cellular phone calls.
“We also remind the police commanders to make sure that the smoking ban and other minimum health safety standard protocols are also observed inside the bus terminals among the passengers, bus company employees and other people who are allowed entry inside the terminals,” said. Eleazar.
“Our presence in bus terminals and other possible bus stops is not only for peace and order purposes but also in compliance with the mandate given to us to protect as many people from coronavirus infection by strictly implementing the quarantine rules,” he added.
Eleazar said the police presence in bus terminals comes with the order to familiarize the areas and find an ideal place where the passengers could seek help and report quarantine violations for immediate response.
He also encouraged passengers to remain vigilant against those who defy the quarantine rules inside the bus terminals and inside the passenger buses.
“We already made it easy for the public to report quarantine violations through our jtf.cvshield Facebook page where they could report and even send photos and videos of the quarantine violations. We assure the public of our immediate response and proper actions for any quarantine violation reports and complaints we would receive with regard to the operation of provincial buses,” said Eleazar.
He said the public could also reach the PNP and the JTF COVID Shield through the following hotlines: PNP Helpline 16677, 0998-849-0013 for Smart users, 0917-538-2495 for Globe users and PNP-Highway Patrol Group Hotline 0926-225-5474.