PUV drivers risk fines with 1-meter distancing violation: police


Posted at Sep 18 2020 12:31 PM

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Public utility vehicle drivers could have their licenses confiscated and face fines if their passengers are seated less than a meter apart, a rule meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, police said Friday. 

"For violations of drivers, inside the motor vehicles, what the Highway Patrol Group and our law enforcers are doing is to cite the drivers, confiscated ang licenses and then may corresponding multa iyan at tutubusin nila sa LTO," said Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield.

(The licenses will be confiscated and there is a corresponding penalty. They have to get it from the Land Transportation Office.)

Officers will inspect transport terminals at random. They cannot set up a checkpoint for all vehicles because this will lead to "monstrous traffic", he told ANC. 

The transport department had on Monday shortened the required distancing in public vehicles to 0.75 meter to accommodate more passengers as movement restrictions were eased to revive the economy, which the coronavirus dragged into recession. 

But several doctors and researchers opposed the policy, saying this could lead to an uptick in coronavirus cases. 

The World Health Organization urges the public to keep a distance of 1 meter from others to dodge the virus. When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks, they spray small droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus, the WHO said. 

On Thursday, Malacañang announced that the required distancing would revert to 1 meter while President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to make a final decision on the matter.

ANC, Sept. 18, 2020