Sara Duterte urges DOTr to require pre-departure COVID-19 test on airline passengers

Robie de Guzman   •   June 2, 2020   •   303

MANILA, Philippines – The Davao City government is proposing for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to impose a policy requiring airline passengers to undergo a health screening before departure.

In an interview at the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government has been eyeing to implement this requirement for people flying out of Davao City to ensure that all airline passengers are free from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Duterte said they have already proposed this to the DOTr considering that it is more difficult to conduct contact tracing if ever one passenger later turns out positive of the dreaded disease.

She said the screening should be done one to three days before the scheduled flight.

“During sa discussion namo, niingon ang doctor, kung diri ta mag-check ang mahitabo ana kung duna’y positive, mahurot ka-quarantine ang mga airport employees and pati mga airline crew. Nagsulti ang doctor dapat daw ang testing should be done before departure dili upon arrival,” she said.

(During our discussion, the doctor said that if we do the testing here, the worst case scenario is if one will test postive, all airport employees and airline crew will be placed on quarantine. The doctor said that the testing should be done before departure and not upon arrival.)

“So nagsulat mi sa DOTR ug sa national level, nagpadala ta og mga suggestions, nag-ingon ta nga diri sa Davao we will prepare testing before departure, so dapat ang tanang airports ang testing nila is before departure. So kung naa tay makuha nga positive sa mga pasahero, dili na siya makasakay,” she added.

(So we wrote a letter to the DOTr and to the national level, we sent suggestions that here in Davao, we will prepare testing before departure, so it should be done in all airports before departure. So if we find one positive possanger, then he/she ca no longer board the plane.)

Currently, the city only implements testing of passengers arriving via sweeper flights.

Mayor Sara also said that bus and van trips should also be arranged first before allowing commercial flights to resume.

“Nagsulti pud mi nga before i-resume ang commercial flights, ayuson sa ang bus trips ug vans, because kung naa ta’y commercial trips nga moabot ang [mouliay gawas sa Davao City] ma stranded siya sa airport tungod limited ang bus ug vans,” she said. 

(We also informed them that before commercial flights resume, bus and van trips should be fixed first because if we allow commercial flights without transportation outside of Davao City) then they will be stranded here due to limited bus and van trips.)

The city currently allows one bus trip every day and it will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

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)

IATF approves implementation of service contracting of PUVs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the implementation of service contracting of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Proposed by the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the service contracting scheme for public transport aims to subsidize public transport operations, incentivize PUV operators to return and serve commuters, and restore the livelihood of displaced transport workers, among others.

“The proposed stimulus bill has allocated budget to carry out a more financially-viable contracting scheme that will better benefit operators of public transportation units, the commuting public, and the overall public transport sector,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

IATF GIVES GO SIGNAL TO EDC, DOTr-BACKED SERVICE CONTRACTING SCHEME FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTIn a bid to further contain…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Sunday, September 13, 2020

The measure will soon be implemented with the signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the “Bayanihan 2” bill into law.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steve Pastor said the measure will not only help operators and drivers with their livelihood but it can also help in limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We are pushing for the use of service contracting as these would allow for efficiency of travel and the reduction of transmission,” he said. AAC

Davao City to lift liquor ban on September 21

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 14, 2020

The Davao City government is set to lift its liquor ban on September 21 to help business owners and employees in the liquor industry.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will issue an executive order next week to lift the city’s liquor ban that was imposed in April. Duterte also clarified she is not lifting the liquor ban to accommodate people’s clamor for alcohol.

The Davao mayor also reiterated that beer pubs are still prohibited from operating since it is included in the negative list of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“We did not lift the liquor ban for you. We lifted the liquor ban for the businesses and for the people who are working in the liquor business,” she said. AAC

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