No talking inside PUVs in Baguio amid pandemic

No talking inside PUVs in Baguio amid pandemic

BAGUIO CITY – The city council here has approved an ordinance prescribing new norms of operations in all public transports, businesses, schools, and public places in response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, including not talking in public utility vehicles (PUVs).

The ordinance that has imposed a new normal in observing health and sanitation practices now prohibits talking inside PUVs, even while wearing masks to avoid transmission of the virus.

Violators would be fined with PHP1,000 for the first offense, PHP3,000 for the second offense, and PHP5,000 and community service for the third offense.

The new ordinance also mandated the strict observance of the cough etiquette, requiring everyone to use tissue paper when coughing or sneezing and dispose of it properly after use. The use of a face mask for a person with a cough is also prescribed.

The ordinance was approved just as the city shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ) from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), with more public transports being allowed to ply their regular route.

The GCQ now also allow taxis to bring commuters to their specified places under a coding scheme starting those vehicles ending in one that started May 18.

Cabs with license plates ending in numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 are allowed to travel around the city on Tuesday to Friday (May 19-22), while those ending in 6-0 will have their turn on May 25-29.

Under the ordinance, non-compliance of people in charge of government offices shall be meted administrative disciplinary action under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

The ordinance also specifies a fine of PHP5,000 for each offense to erring private institutions, other new normal health practices that must be observed include: windows shall be opened for good ventilation; frequent handwashing shall be required to all establishments with existing comfort rooms or washing facilities; all persons shall step on the sanitation mats and shall have their temperature checked before entering the premises of the establishment, and plastic sheets or other transparent materials shall be used in counters to shield employees and clients/customers.

Under the ordinance, both public and private establishments operating in the city under site-owned tenancy agreements shall be required to enforce the following as part of the owner’s or employer’s responsibility: provide and maintain a safe working environment and hygienic facility for the safety of all workers/employees, customers/ clients, and guests.

With the approval of the ordinance, all health and sanitation practices must be enforced in all applicable places in the city until the declared public health emergency is lifted.

The city council has also approved two ordinances earlier that mandate the use of face masks and imposing physical distancing in public places as part of the new normal. Pigeon Lobien /PNA –