MANILA – Public utility jeepneys (PUJs) are still not allowed to operate when the more relaxed community quarantine is implemented nationwide on June 1, Malacañang said on Saturday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the operation of PUJs is still prohibited because it would be difficult for commuters to observe strict physical distancing since they have to sit close to each other.
Roque, nevertheless, ensured that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases would study how PUJs could resume operations.
“Pasensiya na po sa ating mga kapatid na namamasada ng mga jeepney. Pero pinag-aaralan pa po kung paano magkakaroon ng social distancing ang mga jeepney (I apologize to the jeepney drivers. But we are still studying how social distancing can be imposed in jeepneys),” Roque said during the Laging Handa program aired on state-run PTV-4.
Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, and the cities of Zamboanga, Davao, Cebu, and Mandaue will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), while the rest of the country will be put under modified GCQ from June 1 to 15.
Following the eased quarantine restrictions, trains, bus augmentation, taxis, transport network vehicle services, shuttle services, and point-to-point buses and bicycles will be allowed to operate from June 1 to 21.
Tricycles with clearance from local government units will also be allowed to operate.
From June 22 to 30, the operations of public utility buses, modern public utility vehicles, and UV Express will also be allowed.
They are allowed to operate on the condition that limited passenger capacity; use of face masks, alcohols, and thermal scanners; cashless payments; disinfection of surfaces; establishment of disinfecting facilities; and contact tracing are observed.
Provincial buses, however, are still barred from entering Metro Manila.
Roque said Edsa, the busiest highway in Metro Manila, would also be “transformed” to ensure the public’s protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Magkakaroon po tayo ng transformation ng Edsa (There will be a transformation of Edsa),” he said.
Roque said the Covid-19 pandemic had prompted the government to create bike lanes, pedestrian crossing, segregated bus lanes, and boarding areas along Edsa. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA – northboundasia.com