Metro Manila community quarantine transportation restrictions: Here’s what you need to know

Robie de Guzman   •   March 14, 2020   •   4370

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Saturday, March 14 released a set of guidelines for public transportation restrictions during the implementation of the community quarantine in Metro Manila effective Sunday, March 15 to April 14.

Under the guidelines, drivers and operators of public utility vehicles need to observe the following passenger limit:

  • UV Express van should not have more than six (6) passengers including driver; passengers should be one seat apart.
  • Public jeepneys should not board more than half of their regular capacity including driver, passengers should be one seat apart
  • Public buses should not have more than 25 passengers including driver and conductor, without any standing passenger. Passengers should be one seat apart.
  • Taxis/Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), including accredited airport taxis should not have more than four passengers, including driver. One seat apart distance between passengers should be maintained.
  • Multiple bookings for a single trip provided by the TNVS is prohibited.

Provincial buses and inter-regional trips of jeepneys and UV Express traveling to and from Metro Manila shall be terminated on the entry points identified by the Philippine National Police (PNP). Buses and jeepneys will be waiting at these entry points for unloaded passengers from outside Metro Manila.

Drivers and conductors should also remind passengers to be ready to present valid company ID, which shows the address of workplace, and government-issued ID, which shows their place of residence.

Point-to-Point (P2P) Buses from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Clark International Airport and Sangley Airport shall be allowed to operate as scheduled, subject to protocols or procedures of the Department of Health (DOH) and the PNP.

The guidelines also stated that the pilot implementation of motorcycle taxis is suspended during the quarantine.

Authorities also directed operators to inform their drivers and conductors to be observant of their passengers and bring them to the nearest hospital should they manifest any symptom of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including cough, fever and breathing difficulty. They are also required to report the incident to the DOH and the PNP for proper handling.

For train services, the guidelines state the following:

  • Trains and platform shall be loaded at reduced capacity of 25% to reduce the concentration of passengers per train. One-meter social distancing rule will also be maintained.
  • Women and senior citizens section of train cars will be further separated to designated a subsection for the elderly.
  • Philippine National Railways (PNR) operations from Alabang to Calamba in Laguna and vice versa is suspended during the quarantine period.
  • Trains, including its interiors, and station premises and surfaces frequently touched by the public will also have to be disinfected at least every loop or every time a train reaches its end-stations.

The guidelines also directed station personnel to regulate the entry of passengers from station platforms to trains.

For air travel, the guidelines state that:

  • All domestic flights to and from Metro Manila are suspended; exemptions include cargo flights air ambulance, and government supplies, government military flights, weather mitigation flights, and maintenance and utility flights.
  • General aviation flights are also suspended during the quarantine period, and will be diverted to Sangley Airport and Clark Airport.
  • Special airport-to-airport international flight arranged by the airlines, and coordinated with airport authorities are allowed.
  • Passengers of international/commercial flights may opt to terminate flight in Metro Manila, and arrange their own transport within the region
  • Local airlines will also be endeavored by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to operate sweeper flights out of Manila and into other airports.

Issuance of access passes for visitors is suspended, and only passengers and essential personnel are allowed to enter and exit airport terminals.

The guidelines also stated that one-meter social distancing among passengers shall be observed.

For sea travel, the following measures shall be strictly implemented:

  • Passenger traffic in all ports going in and out of Metro Manila will be suspended during the quarantine period.
  • Ferry services within Metro Manila will continue to operate but with 50% capacity per vessel.
  • Ships plying routes within Metro Manila will be allowed to dock at ports outside the region upon application for the issuance of special permit with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
  • Cargo vessels are still allowed to move to and from Metro Manila. Cargo trucks/vans going in and out of Port of Manila shall present a Cargo Entry/Withdrawal Permit secured from the Philippine Ports Authority for validation at designated checkpoints.
  • Foreign and domestic ships are directed to unload their wastes as the next port of call outside Metro Manila as waste reception services at the ports shall be suspended.

Authorities said the guidelines for transportation restrictions shall take effect immediately and shall be applicable until the declaration of public health emergency of international concern has been lifted.

The DOTr, however, stressed that these measures are subject to daily review and revision as necessary.

Mini loop routes ng city buses, ipinatupad na ng DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 29, 2020

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MANILA, Philippines – Umarangkada na ngayong Lunes, Hunyo 29 ang mini loop routes ng city buses para makatulong sa pagbiyahe ng mga commuter.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), dalawa ang mini loop routes na binuksan ngayong araw: ang Monumento – MRT Quezon Avenue Station at PITX – Ayala Avenue.

Ang rutang Timog-Santolan naman ay sa Miyerkules, July 1 pa magsisimula.

Nakadugtong ang mga rutang ito sa bus augmentation ng Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3 na bumibiyahe sa EDSA sa pagitan ng North Avenue at Taft Avenue na binuksan ng DOTr noong June 1 kasabay ng paglipat ng Metro Manila sa general community quarantine.

“Marami kasi tayong mga commuter o mga pasahero na nag-express ng kanilang concern na wala silang masakyan from Monumento going to North Avenue or Quezon Avenue. Gayundin y’ong mga galing ng PITX papunta ng Ayala. So, ‘yon ang in-adress natin ngayon,” ani DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran.

Ayon sa kagawaran, 30 public bus units ang nakatalaga sa mga nabanggit na ruta.

Tiniyak naman ng DOTr na araw-araw ang gagawing assessment para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga commuter.

Alinsunod sa direktiba ng Inter-Agency Task Force, gradual o unti-unti ang pagbabalik ng operasyon ng mga pampublikong sasakyan. Una nang pinayagan ang limitadong operasyon sa itinakdang ruta ng point-to-point buses, transport network vehicle services at public utility buses. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DOTr defends jeepney modernization program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has defended the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) Modernzation Program, saying it does not favor the rich but the commuters.

In a social media post, the DOTr said the PUV Modernization Program will benefit the drivers as they would have a salary with fixed working hours, as well as benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) . The program also aims to remove the ‘boundary system’, and lessen air pollution.

“Sa PUV Modernization, hindi lang makina, kalidad, o disenyo ng jeep ang binabago. Binabago dito ang nakagawiang sistema ng mga jeepney drivers at commuters, (The PUV Modernization will not just change the quality, design, and the machine of jeepneys. It will also change the old system of drivers and commuters),” the post read.

The DOTr said the government already gave jeepney operators a three-year transition period for them to have a proper fleet management. The department also reiterated that as long as the traditional jeepney passes the road worthiness standards, it will still be allowed to operate.

“Kahit hindi bago o traditional jeepney pa iyan, kung papasa naman sa road worthiness standards, papayagan pa rin po iyang tumakbo, (Even if it is a traditional jeepney, it will be allowed to operated if it passes the road worthiness standards),” the department said. AAC

Manila, Muntinlupa cut curfew hours

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

The cities of Manila and Muntinlupa on Tuesday (June 16) announced they will shorten their curfew hours.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso adjusted the city’s curfew hours from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am as the restrictions for business operations eases. The previous schedule was set from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa City will impose a new curfew schedule which will be from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi approved City Ordinance 2020-102 which will also impose penalties to curfew violators.

The ordinance also states that Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) and those whose work involves delivery of essential goods and services are exempted in the curfew.

First-time violators will have a penalty of P500 while penalty will increase to P1,000 for succeeding offenses. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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