DOTr proposes to retain current public transport supply, capacity during ECQ in NCR

While the government is yet to release guidelines on public mobility in connection with the impending reimposition of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it will recommend that the current supply and capacity of public transport be retained.

Commuters in Philcoa, Quezon City are forced to wait in line after public utility vehicles (PUVs) were only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity during the previous implementation of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus bubble. (Mark Balmores/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

This was disclosed by DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran on Friday afternoon, July 30, after the government’s pandemic task force announced that Metro Manila will be placed under ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20.

“Restrictions will be applied on passengers -- i.e., stricter enforcement to ensure that only APORs (Authorized Persons Outside their Residences) are permitted to use public transport, as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” Libiran said in a message to reporters.

Currently, public transport capacity is at 50 percent, with 80 percent of public utility vehicles (PUVs) allowed to operate. Meanwhile, all rails system are deployed.

Libiran earlier said that the IATF and DOTr were still finalizing the guidelines on public transportation during the two-week lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila.

“Whatever the decision of IATF will be, we will abide,” she added.

The transportation department is expected to release the final guidelines in a press conference on Monday or Tuesday.

Malacañang earlier announced that Metro Manila will first undergo a new variant of the general community quarantine (GCQ) dubbed GCQ "with heightened and additional restrictions" from July 30 to Aug. 5 to allow business owners and the public to make the necessary preparations.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque explained that the move to ECQ was caused by the rising number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country and with the local transmission of the dreaded Delta variant.