MANILA — Several measures on public transportation, including a limit on passengers, will be implemented in line with the government’s imposed community quarantine in Metro Manila.
On Saturday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued the guidelines on social distancing and community quarantine in the transport sector, which is effective “immediately”.
The said document specified that all public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers would observe the following passenger limit:
For Taxis/Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), including accredited airport taxis, there should be no more than four passengers including the driver.
For UV Express, there should be no more than six passengers including the driver.
For old units of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs), there should no be more than half of their regular capacity, including the driver.
For Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) compliant units (Class 2 and 3), there should be no more than one-half of the seating capacity and without any standing passenger.
For PUBs, there should not be more than 25 passengers including driver and conductor and without any standing passenger.
The DOTr said passengers inside these vehicles are required to be one seat apart from each other.
Multiple bookings for a single trip in a TNVS and motorcycle taxis are also suspended.
“Should any of their passengers manifest any symptoms of the COVID-19, they shall assist the said person to the nearest hospital and to report the incident to the Department of Health (DOH) or the Philippine National Police (PNP) for proper handling,” the DOTr said.
Meanwhile, provincial buses and inter-regional trips of jeepneys and UV Express, to and from Metro Manila will also be “terminated” on the entry points as identified by the PNP.
The agency also reminded all PUVs entering and exiting Metro Manila to remind all passengers to ready their valid company ID showing the place of work and government-issued ID showing the place of residence.
The Point-to-Point (P2P) Buses from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Clark International Airport and Sangley Airport will be allowed to operate as scheduled, subject to DOH and PNP protocols/procedures.
For the rail sector, the DOTr said trains will be loaded at reduced capacity to lessen the concentration of passengers per train. The same reduction will also be implemented in station platforms, concourses, and elevators.
“It is noted that the above measures will lower our railway lines’ capacity and result in longer queues. We appeal to our passengers’ understanding as these public health measures are implemented to manage the current Public Health Emergency. Operating hours may be extended on a case-to-case basis to accommodate passengers who are already in queues,” the agency said.
PNR operations from Alabang, Muntinlupa City to Calamba in Laguna province and vice versa shall also be suspended during the period of community quarantine.
In the aviation sector, all domestic flights will cease operations in the community quarantine area, except for cargo flights, air ambulance and medical supplies, government/military flights, weather mitigation flights, and maintenance and utility flights.
“No general aviation flights within the community quarantine area during the period. General aviation flights will be diverted to Sangley Airport and Clark Airport,” it said.
On the international and other commercial flights, the DOTr added that a special airport-to-airport trip arranged by the airlines, in coordination with the airport authorities will be allowed.
Passengers may also opt to terminate flights in Manila, and arrange their own transport within Manila.
Airlines may also communicate options beyond Manila travel.
The same one-meter radius distance from the other passengers shall be implemented and areas where queuing take place (Xray, check-in counter queues, etc.) shall have signages for people to observe proper social distancing.
In the maritime sector, there would be an enhancement of passenger awareness on precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The crew of cargo vessels originating from Covid-19 affected ports will also be subject to stringent quarantine procedures.
For ships and cargoes, the passenger traffic in all ports going in and out of the NCR will be suspended during the period of community quarantine.
However, ferry services within the NCR shall continue to operate subject to the observance of 50 percent reduced capacity.
Ships normally plying routes within the NCR will be allowed to call at ports outside of the same upon application for the issuance of Special Permit with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
The DOTr added the implementation of a “no sail” policy “to all water conveyances carrying passengers calling to and from any ports of Metro Manila except foreign ships subject to CIQS procedures and domestic cargo, fishing and government vessels subject to health screening pursuant to DOH Advisories and guidelines.” (PNA)