MANILA – UV Express vans have a higher chance of resuming transport operations compared to the traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJs), Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that unlike PUJs with seats that make passengers face each other, UV Express vans have seats that let passengers face one direction which minimizes the risk of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infection.
He said both the UV Express vans and PUJs will be tapped if the current modes of public transportation are not enough to send commuters to their respective destinations.
“It’s the convenience of the riding public that is being considered. If what we have is not enough then it will surely be allowed. I think the UV Express stand a better chance than jeepneys,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
Roque also said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is currently looking into the possibility of allowing traditional PUJs.
“There should be a decision within the month,” he said.
Earlier, Roque said PUJs may no longer be allowed to resume operations if other modes of public transport will be enough to service commuters.
He said UV Express vans and PUJs are at the bottom of the transport hierarchy, which means they can service fewer passengers and they will only be allowed once the existing transport modes continue to be insufficient.
Meanwhile, Roque also denied that the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to limit vehicles on the roads is anti-poor since it favors those who own private cars.
“The priority of the IATF is still upholding public health. And that is why as far as public transportation is concerned, it’s not just cars that are being given priority,” he said.
He said that also allowed are the country’s railway systems, buses, taxis, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), shuttle services, point-to-point buses, and bicycles.
“It’s not true that the favored mode of transportation is private because we all know that the majority of people still don’t have access to private transportation. So I don’t think that is the case, that it is not pro-poor,” he added.
As for sports, Roque denied that the IATF also allowed only pro-rich sports such as golf to resume saying that all non-contact sports were allowed under relaxed quarantine protocols.
“The prevailing and most important criterion is ‘Is it a contact sport?’ Because if it’s not a contact sport it’s allowed to,” he said.
He said contact sports such as basketball cannot be allowed unless there is an improvement in the country’s rate of Covid-19 infection. Azer Parrocha /PNA – northboundasia.com