Muntinlupa tightens rules on transport groups as active COVID-19 cases surge to 196

The Muntinlupa City government has ordered tricycle and jeepney drivers and operators to strictly follow health protocols as the number of active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city surged to 196.

Meeting between Muntinlupa City government officials and representatives of transport groups (Muntinlupa PIO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Representatives of transport groups in the city were called to an emergency meeting by the Muntinlupa Traffic and Management Bureau (MTMB) on March 11 to discuss rules that should be followed in vehicles and terminals to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

MTMB ordered tricycle and jeepney operators to ensure that safety and health measures are observed by drivers and passengers in their vehicles and in terminals.

Tricycle Regulatory Unit chief Willy Gomez instructed the drivers to take the initiative to tell passengers to correctly wear face masks and face shields.

There are existing guidelines that have been imposed by the Muntinlupa City government on tricycles.

Tricycle drivers are mandated to install a transparent plastic sheet barrier to avoid physical contact with their passengers. Tricycle drivers also need to disinfect their vehicles at least twice a day and must have alcohol-based sanitizers.

Mandatory temperature checks in terminals are also in place and disinfecting facilities with soap and water were also installed in local terminals.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said Muntinlupa will impose the new curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the next two weeks that was agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council (MMC).

City Council Majority Floor Leader Raul Corro told the Manila Bulletin that councilors will amend on Monday an existing ordinance that imposes a citywide curfew from midnight to 3 a.m. to conform with the new curfew hours mandated by the MMC.

Persons exempted from the curfew include Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), those whose work involves the delivery of essential goods and services, and those who work in night shift or a 24-hour on-call duty, and those providing public transportation.

Checkpoints have been installed along the boundaries of barangays to manage the upward trend of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Fresnedi ordered the installation of inter-barangay checkpoints to monitor non-essential mobility of residents. He instructed the Muntinlupa Police to augment police personnel in checkpoints and roving efforts.

Under City Ordinance 2020-145 on age-based stay-at-home restrictions, only those 18-65 years old are allowed to go out of their residence unless expressly prohibited under the national and local issuances.

On March 11, Muntinlupa’s active COVID-19 cases rose to 196 from 155 on March 10, and 99 on March 5. The city has 5,842 confirmed cases including 5,469 recoveries, 177 deaths, and 196 active cases.

Fresnedi reminded the public that the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines “should not give us a false sense of security.”