By Consuelo Marquez, Inquirer.net
The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of 17 mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR), said they recommended to suspend bus and jeepney operations if the government decides to place Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia said the mayors issued the recommendation because transport agencies are still arranging bus routes for the community quarantine.
“May konting concerns lang ang ating mga mayors, number one sa mass transportation. Sabi nga natin baka pwede iwas muna tayo sa because of health issues sa bus and jeepney or modern jeep,” Garcia said in an online press briefing with reporters after the MMC meeting about the possible scenario in Metro Manila on June 1.
(Our mayors have concerns, number one on mass transportation. We said that we should suspend first buses and jeepneys or modern jeepneys because of health issues.)
“Meaning mahirap i-control lalong lalo na may inaayos ang DOTr (Department of Transportation), LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board), MMDA at DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) na yung bus natin binabago na yung mga ruta,” he added.
(It is still challenging to regulate especially the DOTR, LTFRB, MMDA and DPWH are modifying the bus routes.)
He noted that the MMC recommended to allow first Transportation Network Vehicle Service, and taxis but are mandated to accommodate a maximum of two passengers.
Garcia added that the MMC also approved that tricycles and pedicabs may be allowed with limited passengers but should not ply on national roads.
MMC also recommended that shuttle services of companies and point-to-point buses are also allowed during GCQ, Garcia said.
The MMC earlier approved in a meeting that they would recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to place Metro Manila under the general community quarantine on June 1.
The IATF-MEID, however, will give a final decision whether to approve MMC’s recommendation to downgrade Metro Manila from modified enhanced community quarantine to GCQ.ADVERTISEMENT
Aside from limitation on public transport, Garcia said the mayors also recommended to impose a modified coding scheme if GCQ takes effect in Metro Manila.
Under modified coding, Garcia said if vehicles are on the coding day, they are allowed to go outside, provided that they are carrying a maximum of 2 or more passengers.
“Kapag kayo po ay let’s say, Monday, bawal kayo (lumabas) pero kung 2 or more kayo hanggang dun lang kayo noh na basta 2 per row lang ito ay papayagan natin kahit coding sila,” he said.
(If it is your vehicle’s coding day on Monday and you are not allowed to travel, but you are carrying two or more people, as long as there are two people per row.)
Saying that Metro Manila would still be under a community quarantine, Garcia said there are still restrictions as only authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) and those who would buy essential goods are allowed to go outside of their homes.
“Sa GCQ may tinatawag tayong APOR, the same pa rin ‘di ka pwedeng sumakay na papasyal ka lang. Ito yung mga essential pa rin based sa guideline ng IATF,” he said.
(Under GCQ, the APOR still stands, so you cannot travel just to take a stroll. Only essential travel will be allowed based on the guideline of the IATF.)
He also explained that those who have emergencies are exempted from the modified coding scheme.