MANILA — Local governments can provide alternative modes of transportation for workers allowed to travel given the suspension of mass public transport under the Luzon-wide community quarantine imposed in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday night.
The national government may also allow “some public (transport) utilities to operate a certain number of vehicles commensurate” to the number of commuters, he told a press briefing.
“We don’t want to open all public transportation because that would actually encourage people to move,” he said. “Our objective is to restrict movement of people to the maximum.”
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under an “enhanced community quarantine” effective March 17 to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus disease known as COVID-19.
Duterte’s order allows BPO establishments and export-oriented industries to continue operations. But they were told to observe “strict social distancing measures.”
Employers were also required to provide temporary accommodation to workers by March 18, and come up with a skeletal work force.
Barangay officials will patrol communities to ensure compliance with “social distancing,” which, Año admitted, would be a “big challenge” especially in slum areas.
He cited the need to disseminate more information on the importance of such measure against COVID-19 to encourage residents to follow “on their own personal effort.”