MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DoTr) on Sunday released its public transport guidelines as the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan will start 12:01 a.m. on Monday, 29 March to 4 April, Easter Sunday.
During a virtual presser Sunday, the DOTR maintained that all mode of transportation will be allowed to operate during ECQ, but in a 50 percent maximum capacity only and the movement of persons shall be limited to essential activities and to Authorized Persons Outside of their Residences (APOR), based on the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the country.
All APORs should present proper identification during inspections in order to have a smooth journey during the ECQ implementation, according to the DOTr.
For aviation, domestic commercial operations are given the go signal but subject to compliance with the requirements or restrictions on capacity and frequency of flights that may be imposed by all the local government units (LGUs) outside the NCR+ bubble.
For international arrivals, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Gem Monreal said the maximum number of international inbound passenger shall remain 1,500.
Likewise, the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) reminded all airline companies to strictly implement and adhere to the health and safety measures, provide immediate notification of the status of flights of passengers whose flights may be cancelled or postponed and provide all necessary information, and to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights in case of flight cancellations.
Speaking for the maritime cluster of the DOTr, Philippine Ports Authority General Manager, Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago said allowed to embark on vessels are APORs with 50 percent capacity and travel through maritime vessels and the ports shall be subjected to requirements as may be imposed by the LGUs where voyages originate and end.
All vessel operations, cargo handling and other related port ancillary services and activities shall continue, with the stricter adherence to the minimum health protocols, according to Santiago.
The DOTr has announced that operations of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 will stop operation starting 30 March to 4 April, in the observance of the Lenten Season and to give way for the annual scheduled maintenance of the said rail lines.
The last operation of those mentioned rail lines will be on 29 March, Monday, with the passenger capacity of 20 to 30 percent capacity only.
All employees of the rail lines who will go on duty during the Holy Week will go through further health and safety measures, such as RT-PCR and antigen testings, while staffing for office and administrative functions will be limited to 30 percent capacity or skeleton workforce.
For the road sector, operations of all mode of public utility vehicles, such as buses, UV Express Service, public utility jeepney (PUJs), tricycle, taxi and TNVS are all allowed to service the public, with 50 percent minimum capacity.
“Entry of provincial buses with only APOR as passengers shall be allowed provided that these are point-to-point trips,” the DOTR road sector said.
Motorcycles, as well as motorcycle taxis, excluding “habal-habal” (informal and illegal motorcycle taxis) can perform its jobs during the ECQ, while back riders are allowed, so long that they belong to the APORs.
“The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines, I-ACT and other Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) authorized personnel will be deployed at strategic locations and conduct daily random inspections of PUV operations, offices, terminals and depots to ensure strict compliance with the service, sanitary and operational requirements,” said Atty. Mark Steven Pastor, Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure of the DOTr.
The DOTr officials also urged the public to support and adhere to the guidelines being imposed by the government during the one-week implementation of the ECQ for NCR+ bubble, emphasizing that the DOTr is one with the nation in its quest to fight and curb Covid 19.