IATF discussing resumption of provincial bus operations in Metro Manila amid quarantine

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2020 11:56 AM

MANILA — The Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response (IATF) is discussing the possible resumption of provincial bus operations in Metro Manila, an official said Wednesday as relaxed community quarantine protocols were retained in the capital region.

Transport groups have appealed to the government to allow provincial buses to enter the capital region as community quarantines continue.

"'Yan po ay pinag-uusapan na ngayon sa IATF. Wala pa pong pinal na desisyon," Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a virtual press briefing.

(That's still being discussed by the IATF. There is no final decision yet)

"Antabayanan na lang po natin kung magkakadesisyon na ang IATF," he added.

(Let's wait for the decision of the IATF)

Provincial buses are banned from entering Metro Manila and are required to carry only half of their passenger capacity as the entire country remained under varying quarantine levels.

Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine until the end of the month where public transportation is allowed.

Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines President Alex Yague earlier said that some 14,000 workers of provincial bus firms have lost their jobs due to transportation restrictions.

Among those who lost their jobs were drivers, ticket collectors, and support staff such as mechanics, dispatchers, and inspectors, he said.