Employers told to limit physical workforce, provide shuttles as commuter woes worsen

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2020 03:09 PM

Commuters wait for a ride along Commonwealth Ave in Quezon City at 6:30 a.m., June 1,2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA- Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade appealed to companies Tuesday to refrain from asking all of its workers to physically report for work, and provide shuttle services to those who need it as more industries resume operations.

Commuters on Monday struggled with limited public utility vehicles and crammed on board free shuttle services as Metro Manila transitioned to a more relaxed general community quarantine.

"Please lang employer, huwag papasukin lahat ng empleyado; tumupad tayo, 50 percent kung maaari lamang. Sinasabi namin please lang employer, humanap kayo ng pamaraan na kung saan iyong oras at araw ng paghahanapbuhay ay diktado," he said in a Palace press briefing.

(Please don't ask all of your employees to physically report for work. If possible, limit it ot 50 percent. We're asking employers to find ways to control the days and time for work.)

While the transportation department is mandated to provide means of public transport, Tugade said it is also their responsibility to ensure the safety of the public given the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We provide the modes of transportation as we balance that with our responsibility to make sure that the spread of the virus is contained, mitigated and totally removed," he said.

Resumption of public transportation is divided into 2 phases as the government eased lockdowns across the country.

From June 1 to 21, only permitted train and bus augmentation units, taxis, ride-hailing cars, point-to-point buses, shuttle services and bicycles are allowed to operate on a limited capacity.

Tricycles are also allowed subject to approval of local government units while provincial buses are still barred from entering Metro Manila. 

For the second phase, which will run from June 22 to June 30, public utility buses, modern jeepneys, and UV express vans will be allowed to operate, the agency said.