Public buses, jeepneys still barred when Metro Manila shifts to general quarantine: MMDA

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2020 12:32 PM

Public buses, jeepneys still barred when Metro Manila shifts to general quarantine: MMDA 1
Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield chief Police Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, center, inspects a bus going from Rosario to San Fernando, La Union for compliance with physical distancing rules on Friday, May 8, 2020. La Union is now under General Community Quarantine and is allowed certain limited movement of the public with strict rules. ABS-CBN News

P2P buses can operate: MMDA

MANILA- Buses and jeepneys for public transport will still be barred from plying the roads of the National Capital Region even when it shifts to a more relaxed general community quarantine, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Wednesday.

Authorities will have a difficult time monitoring buses and jeepneys since these vehicles drop off and pick up passengers along the road, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said. 

Physical distancing will also be difficult to observe in such vehicles, he added.

"Alam naman po natin ang jeep natin at bus 'stop-and-go' yan. Sasakay, magbababa so medyo mahirap po i-monitor hangga't di pa natin nadidisiplina ang ating mga kababayan sa tamang pagsakay at pagbaba po," Garcia said in a virtual press briefing.

(Our buses and jeepneys operate on a stop-and-go scheme. They pick-up and drop-off passengers so it's difficult to monitor because we have yet to discipline our countrymen on how to properly ride public transport.)

Garcia however clarified that the recommendation exempts Point-to-Point (P2P) Bus services since these can easily be monitored by authorities. P2P buses ferry passengers straight to their destination, with no pickups en route.

"Madali din po i-monitor 'yan kasi 'yung P2P po hindi sila puwede magsakay at magbaba along the way," he said. 

(They're easy to monitor because P2P buses are not allowed to pickup and drop-off along the way.)

TAXI, TRICYCLE SERVICES ALLOWED

Taxi cabs, ride-hailing services, and tricycles, however, may resume operations once Metro Manila is placed under GCQ, Garcia said, noting that these vehicles can only ferry a limited number of passengers.

"'Yan po OK lang 'yun kasi kaya po natin i-monitor agad kung ilan ang laman niyan," Garcia said.

(Those vehicles are fine because we can easily monitor the number of passengers.)

The proposal was unanimously backed by the Metro Manila Council, composed of mayors of the metropolitan region's 16 cities and lone municipality.

The council also recommended placing the capital region under GCQ by June 1. Metro Manila is under modified enhanced community quarantine until Sunday.

"Sabi nga ng mga mayors natin, there's no such thing as a perfect decision here because you really have to balance the economy and health... GCQ will be a good start to jumpstart the economy," Garcia said.

(Our mayors have said that there's no perfect decision here because you really have to balance the economy and health)