MANILA - Easing physical distancing in public transport is unlikely to aggravate the spread of COVID-19, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said Tuesday.
Strict enforcement of health protocols such as the use of face masks, face shields and barring talking on the phone as well as eating inside trains will help keep the trains safe, Tugade assured lawmakers in a House hearing Tuesday.
Gradually easing the physical distancing to less than a meter in 3 tranches was "not a knee-jerk reaction" but was backed by research and simulations, the official said.
"Samu't sari 'yung solusyon upang sa ganoon mapagsolusyonan natin 'yung tinatawag na transportation problem. To solve the dearth in transportation, you must have a whole-of-government approach, hindi lang sa tinatawag nating transportasyon," Tugade said.
(Different solutions explored to address the transportation problem... To solve the dearth in transportation, you must have a whole-of-government approach)
Some claimed that reducing the minimum distancing in public transport would spur more economic activities since more employees could go back to work.
An expert, however, claimed that easing the distancing rules in public transport is "problematic."
The government, since the pandemic, has been struggling to balance measures meant to spread COVID-19 while allowing the economy to gradually reopen.
-- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News