MANILA – The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) on Tuesday flagged down some 600 taxis on the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) that defied the temporary suspension of public transport in line with the enhanced community quarantine implemented in the entire Luzon.
This came after PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa ordered the apprehension of the public utility vehicles (PUV) that will continue to operate.
“I told the Highway Patrol, specific, apprehend everyone. If needed, we will impound all of them. Probably later, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), would really come up with a clear order that all are suspended so that if they are apprehended, it is not only the ticket of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) that they’re going to face,” Gamboa told a television interview.
HPG director, Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz said the ban on PUVs is not only in Metro Manila but in the entire Luzon island.
“Nakikita nyo karamihan nahuli natin taxi kasi wala na talaga ang mga bus ipinatupad na ng kanilang mga operator na huwag na silang bumiyahe. Bumiyahe itong mga taxi ang mga dahilan, hindi daw nila alam. (You see, many of those apprehended were taxis because there are no buses anymore. Their operators told them not to operate. These taxis still went on operation because their reason is that they are not aware),” he told reporters during the taxi apprehension.
Cruz said they will get the name of the taxi and operator and take photos of their drivers’ licenses, plate number, car registration which will be submitted to the LTFRB for appropriate action.
For the meantime, the drivers were given a warning and were allowed to go home.
In a press conference in Malacañang on Monday night, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the suspension would include all forms of mass transportation such as public utility buses, jeeps, taxis, transport network vehicle services, among others.
Aside from the ban on public transportation, land, air, and sea travel will also be restricted while the movement of cargoes over the entire Luzon would continue unhampered.
Under the memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, enhanced community quarantine means that the public will have to strictly remain indoors unless they need to access basic necessities. (PNA)