DOTr reduces physical distancing markers in public transport

Maris Federez   •   September 14, 2020   •   225

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation has allowed the public transport system in the country to implement a “reduced physical distancing” policy starting Monday, September 14.

From the previous one-meter physical distancing marker between passengers, it is now at .75-meter safe distance.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the reduced physical distancing to provide service to the increasing number of passengers brought about by the reopening of more businesses.

“Ang basehan nila dito sa mga numero na binigay nila ay yung mga pag-aaral na ginawa nila sa sarili at pati narin pag-aaral na ginawa ng medical experts natin. Nakita namin na pwede naman talagang liitan yung pagitan ng mga pasahero basta nandun pa rin ang health protocols,” said DOTr Usec. Artemio Tuazon.

Effective Monday, the LRT-1 will accommodate 204 passengers from the previous 155; while the LRT-2 will accept 212 passengers from the previous 160-capacity.

The MRT-3, in the meantime, said that from 153 passengers, it will now accommodate 204 passengers per trip.

The Philippine National Railways, on the other hand, said it will increase the passenger capacity of their trains to 184 from the previous 166.

The DOTr also announced that standing will now be allowed inside modern jeepneys and passenger buses, increasing their capacity by up to three additional passengers. This increased passenger capacity is also applied in traditional jeepneys and UV express units.

Passenger ships are also allowed to increase their capacity to up to 75 percent from the earlier 50%.

Airline companies, in the meantime, will not be changing their policies on physical distancing as they are using heap filters in the aircraft ventilations ensuring a lower chance of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission.

“Sa loob naman ng eroplano dahil sa kanyang filter system halos kapareho, kalebel sya ng operation ng humidifier where every 3 minutes nagpapalit sya ng air condition at very little or hardly were it says na merong nagkaroon ng transmission sa loob ng eroplano,” said CAAP Director-General Capt. Jim Syndiongco.

In the next two weeks, the DOTr will once again reduce the physical distancing to .50 meters, and subsequently, will further reduced to .30 meters.

The department, however, ensured that with the implementation of the reduced physical distancing protocol, the minimum health standards will still prevail.

On the other hand, in the event that COVID-19 cases will once again increase, the physical distancing in the public transport system will be reverted one meter. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

One-meter physical distancing will be observed in public transport — Duterte

Maris Federez   •   September 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has decided that the one-meter distance between passengers in public transport must be observed, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced Saturday.

“Mananatili po ang one-meter distancing sa pampublikong transportasyon,” Roque said through state-run PTV4.

He added though that talking inside public transport vehicles is still not allowed and that the minimum health protocol such as wearing of face masks and face shields shall remain.

“Sasamahan din ng pagsuot ng face mask at face shield,” he said.  “Bawal ang magsalita sa mga pampublikong transportasyon.”

The Palace spokesperson said the president made the decision on Friday night amid opposing opinions of medical experts on the matter..

The Department of Transportation has allowed the public transport system in the country to implement a “reduced physical distancing” policy starting Monday, September 14.

From the previous one-meter physical distancing marker between passengers, it was reduced to .75-meter safe distance.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) said it approved the proposal to provide service to the increasing number of passengers brought about by the reopening of more businesses.

The proposal provide for a further reduction of physical distancing to 0.5 meters after two weeks, and to 0.3 meters after another two weeks.

Read: DOTr reduces physical distancing markers in public transport

A panel of doctors has expressed support for the gradual reduction of physical distancing inside public transportation vehicles.

The medical experts, which include former Department of Health Secretaries Manuel Dayrit and Esperanza Cabral, said that while the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends keeping a distance of one meter from other passengers to the extent possible, “it allows for adjustments based on context.”

Read: Group of medical experts back reduced distancing policy in public transport

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, however, said the DOTr released the operational guidelines on reduced physical distancing in public transport without consulting health experts and the Metro Manila local government units. — /mbmf

Pagpapaikli sa distansya ng mga pasahero sa public transport, sinuspindi ng DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philipines – Sinuspindi muna ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) ang pagpapatupad sa polisiya na nagpapaikli sa distansya sa pagitan ng mga pasahero upang mapataas sana ang ridership o bilang ng mga maaaring isakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, balik muna sa one-meter physical distancing ang mga pasahero dahil wala pang pinal na desisyon si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte kaugnay ng isyu.

Ani Roque, inanunsiyo ito ni Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade nang magpulong ang mga miyembro ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ngayong Huwebes.

“Pansamantalang isususpinde po ang implementasyon ng 0.75 [meter] na distancing sa mga pampublikong transportasyon at ibabalik po ito sa sa one meter,” ang wika ni Roque sa isang televised press briefing.

Dagdag pa ng opisyal, pag-aaralan pa ng Pangulo ang isusumiteng ulat ng IATF ukol sa naging talakayan at rekomendasyon hinggil sa polisiya.

Maaari aniyang ilabas ng punong ehekutibo ang kanyang pasya sa isyu sa susunod na linggo.

Sa ilalim ng panuntunan na inilabas ng DOTr noong nakaraang linggo, ang kasalukuyang one-meter distance ng mga pasahero ay paiikliin sana sa 0.75 meters simula Setyembre 14. Muli itong babawasan pagkatapos ng dalawang linggo.

Hati naman ang pananaw ng iba’t ibang sektor sa nasabing polisiya.

May grupo ng mga manggagamot na nagsasabing mapanganib ito sa kalusugan ng publiko sa gitna ng banta ng COVID-19 habang may iba namang pabor na bawasan ang itinatakdang agwat ng physical distancing.

Kabilang sa mga sumusuporta sa polisiyang ito ang dating kalihim ng Department of Health na si Manuel Dayrit.

Ayon kay Dayrit, maaari namang bawasan ang agwat ng mga pasahero sa loob ng pampublikong sasakyan ngunit kailangang matiyak na nasusunod ang mga inilatag na health protocols upang huwag mahawa sa virus.

Kabilang sa health protocols ang pagsusuot ng face masks, face shields at pagbabawal sa pagsasalita at pagkain ng mga pasahero habang nasa biyahe. Dapat rin aniya ay may sapat na bentilasyon ang sasakyan, malinis at bawal sumakay ang mga pasaherong asymptomatic.

“We have to take this as a full package. Hindi lang physical distancing ang issue dito, if you just argue by physical distancing, you’re missing out other interventions that we could use and also we are only doing it sa ating public transport so that our people can move so that the economy can open,” ang wika ni Dayrit.

Ang dating special consultant ng National Task Force na si Dr. Anthony Leachon, tutol naman sa reduced physical distancing sa public transport dahil hindi aniya dapat naisasakripisyo ang health standards sa pagbubukas ng ekonomiya ng bansa.

Hinimok din niya si Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, maging ang medical community, na payuhan si Pangulong Duterte sa mga paraan para sa ligtas na pagpapasigla sa ekonomiya sa kabila ng pandemiya.

 “Finally, it’s the right thing to do. PRRD should be advised by Sec. Duque and the medical community. We can reopen the economy and support public transport without sacrificing health standards especially social distancing measures,” ang pahayag ni Leachon. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Pagsasara ng mga sementeryo ngayong Undas para iwas-COVID-19, pinag-aaralan ng IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Pinag-aaralan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ang panukalang isara ang mga sementeryo sa darating na undas bilang pag-iingat sa banta ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, nakatakdang magpulong ang IATF upang pag-usapan kung dapat nga bang isara ang mga sementeryo sa Nobyembre 1 at 2 upang maiwasan ang kumpulan ng mga tao.

Suhestyon naman ng opisyal, magtalaga na lamang ng mga araw at mga limitasyon, partikular na sa bilang ng mga maaaring magtungo sa mga libingan nang maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao.

“Titingnan po natin akung ano ang magiging aksyon ng IATF. Ako mismo ang aking recommendation, gawin na lang nating hindi all saints days, kundi mag-allot siguro ng apat hanggang 5 araw, depende sa family name ng namatay at kung sino ang pwedeng pumunta sa sementeryo nang hindi po lahat magdagsaan sa isang araw po lamang,” ani Roque.

“Pero tingnan po natin kung ano ang magiging desisyon ng IATF,” dagdag pa niya.

Una nang inanunsyo ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ng Maynila, San Juan, at Angeles sa Pampanga ang pagsasara ng mga sementeryo sa kani-kanilang lugar sa darating na undas, mula Oktubre 31 hanggang Nobyembre 2

Ang lokal na pamahalaan naman ng Marikina, isasara din ang mga sementeryo sa mga nabanggit na petsa pero papayagan ang limitadong pagpunta doon mula Oktubre 15 hanggang 30.

May ibibigay ring “cemetery pass” at schedule ng pagtungo sa sementeryo upang maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao at hawahan sa gitna ng coronavirus pandemic.

Pili lang ang mabibigyan ng pass at hindi kasama rito ang mga bata at senior citizen na hindi pinapayagang lumabas ngayong may community quarantine.

Isang beses lang din maaaring gamitin ang pass at dalawa lang bawat pamilya ang pwedeng makakuha nito. RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)


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