MANILA - Commuter fares in Metro Manila will be unchanged when the COVID-19 lockdown is eased, despite new physical distancing measures, a transport official said Monday.
Holding off on a fare hike will help commuters cope with losses due to the 2-month-long enhanced community quarantine that shut most businesses, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Martin Delgra said in a Senate hearing.
"We don't want to add burden to the commuting public at this point in time so LTFRB in consultation with DOTr, decided not to increase the fare for all types of transport that will be allowed on the road," Delgra said.
Special permits will be issued to public utility vehicles that will be allowed on the road to ensure health protocols are in place, he said.
Buses, or those that can carry the most passengers despite social distancing restrictions, will be prioritized, followed by modern jeeps, traditional jeeps and vans, he said.
When asked whether tricycles will be allowed on the road during the general community quarantine, Delgra referred the inquiry to the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Colorum, or those operating without franchise won't be allowed, Delgra said.
Metro Manila mayors are seeking a 15-day extension to the lockdown or ECQ in the region, which is scheduled to end on May 15. Other urban areas are also on ECQ until May 15. The rest of the country has been under general community quarantine with fewer restrictions starting May 1.
Public utility vehicles are "encouraged" to install tap payment systems, while conductors will be required to carry thermal scanners, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark De Leon said.
Masks and sanitizers will also be required once public transport resumes, De Leon said.