MANILA, Philippines — Beginning November 4, the public transport system in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be operating at 70% or up to 100% passenger capacity, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Saturday.
This is after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the department’s recommendation to increase the seating capacity in public utility vehicles.
The DOTr said the implementation of the 70% to full seating capacity includes the Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study (MMUTIS) and the Update and Capacity Enhancement Project (MUCEP) areas.
“Noong nag-meeting ang IATF, na-determina nila na karamihan po ng ating mga mamamayan na pumapasok din sa NCR ay nanggagaling sa mga karatig probinsya natin, kaya minarapat po ng IATF na isama na rin po ‘yung mga karatig probinsya natin na nasa MUCEP area. ‘Yan po ang Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, para naman po ang ating mga mamamayan na pumapasok dito sa loob ng NCR ay makinabang din po dito sa pagtataas ng kapasidad ng ating mga pampublikong sasakyan,” said DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Artemio Tuazon.
The DOTr noted that with the gradual opening of the economy, the increase in the need for more available transportation, such as public utility jeepneys, buses, and trains, follows.
“Mag-uumpisa po tayo sa November 4 ng ating 70% seating capacity. Tayo po ay nakikipag-coordinate sa ating mga rail operators sa LRMC para sa LRT-1, LRTA para sa LRT-2, MRT-3, at pati sa ating PNR upang mapaghandaan po natin ‘yung ating mga pagbabantay,” said DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan.
The DOTr assured that compliance with public health safety measures will be strictly implemented.
The department sees the increase in seating capacity in public transport will generate additional income for drivers and operators.
Aside from the strict implementation of health safety measures by I-ACT, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Highway Patrol Ground (HPG) will also order the removal of plastic barriers inside public vehicles.
“‘Yung 70% capacity po as shown, will provide financial support to our drivers and operators on top of the forthcoming fuel subsidy po, kung kaya’t nais po sana naming ulitin po sa ating mga drivers at operators na hindi po rason itong ating kinakaharap na pagtaas ng fuel prices upang punuin po talaga ‘yung sasakyan.” said DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steve Pastor. —/mbmf