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Davao City, Philippines

Employers urged: Provide shuttle services to workers

May 21, 2020 - Thursday 6:05 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image SCARCE RIDE. People wearing face masks wait for jeepneys along Matina in Davao City. Public transportation shortage is one of the problems the city faces since its implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ). ARJOY M. CENIZA

MANILA – Malacañang said Thursday it expects employers to provide free shuttle services to their workers who are now allowed to report for work despite the implementation of a nationwide community quarantine.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement as more businesses have been allowed to reopen while the country is under community quarantine.

“Ang aming assumption po ay gagawa rin sila ng hakbang para matulungan iyong kanilang mga empleyado na makapasok (Our assumption is they would find a way to help their employees get to work),” Roque said in a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4.

More establishments have been allowed to resume operations since May 16 after the community quarantine in several areas in the country were downgraded from to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified ECQ (MECQ).

Cebu and Mandaue cities were placed under ECQ, while Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales were put under MECQ until May 31 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

General community quarantine (GCQ) was imposed in other areas of the country that are not under ECQ or MECQ.

Roque noted that while some local government units are offering free transportation to workers, the government could not be obliged to provide free shuttle services to all returning employees.

“The rule is, kung talagang hindi kaya magbigay ng shuttle, huwag na po tayong magbukas dahil iniiwasan pa rin naman natin ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 (The rule is if they cannot provide shuttle services, they should not reopen because we are still preventing the spread of COVID-19),” he said.

Mass public transportation in areas under ECQ and MECQ is still suspended.

However, commissioned shuttle services for employees of permitted establishments, and point-to-point transport services for front-line workers are allowed to operate at reduced vehicle capacity to observe minimum health standards.

Exempted individuals are also authorized to use private company shuttles and personal vehicles, as well as bikes and other non-motorized vehicles in areas under MECQ.

For areas under GCQ, the road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation can operate at a reduced operational and vehicle capacity.

A strict one-meter distance between passengers must be observed and appropriate engineering controls must also be in place during the GCQ period.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla attached a copy of his letter addressed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, appealing to allow back riders on motorcycles, especially among couples, as public transportation remains limited.

Roque said Remulla’s proposal would be considered. PNA

 

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