MANILA - Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday reiterated that tricycles are included in the ongoing ban on public transportation vehicles, saying social distancing cannot be observed in such vehicles.
"Concerned talaga ang gobyerno dito sa paggamit ng tricycle dahil hindi namin lubos na makita o maintindihan paano mag-social distancing sa tricycle," he said, responding to appeals by some local governments to exempt tricycles from the public transport ban.
According to Nograles, the local government units can look for other modes of transportation if there is a need to transport residents.
"Kung ang concern po ng LGU ay ganyan, maaari naman pong gumawa ng mga initiatives 'yung LGU with regard to vehicles na hindi naman kailangan tricycle ang gamitin. So may means po ang LGU na gumamit ng other means of transportation. Mayroon po silang mga sariling sasakyan, o maari po silang gumamit ng sasakyan ng iba, makiusap, or other means, he said.
He also said using tricycles may cause more harm because of the lack of social distancing in said vehicles.
"Ayaw po natin na ang constituents niyo po ay magkahawahan. Health workers kamo ang tinutulungan natin, okay. Hindi po ba dangerous na ang health workers natin ay mahahawa po at maging carrier po at pagdating sa health institution ay sila ay carrier," Nograles said.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto earlier appealed to the national government to exempt tricycles from the ongoing ban on public transportation vehicles, saying the three-wheeled vehicles are necessary to save lives during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tricycles are needed for emergency trips, and to ferry health professionals and essential service providers who are exempted from the lockdown in Luzon, which is meant to control the spread of the disease, Sotto explained.
The entire northern Philippine island of Luzon was placed on an “enhanced community quarantine” Tuesday to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
All mass public transport facilities shall suspend its operations including train lines (MRT, LRT-1, LRT-2, PNR), as well as public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys, ride-hailing services, FX, UV Express, Point-to-Point (P2P) buses, and motorcycle taxis.