As of today, Metro Manila is now under Alert Level 3. For its part, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is making adjustments to the current public-transportation guidelines. Commuters, take note.
The agency has decided to retain the 70% passenger capacity in all rail lines so as “to avoid ‘bottlenecking’ or crowding of passengers at stations” which may increase the risk of further spreading the virus. Rail-line management, meanwhile, will be allowed to operate at 60% capacity. However, strict health and safety protocols will be enforced.
Train marshals will be deployed to ensure all passengers are wearing face masks, observing social distancing, and avoiding talking or eating inside the trains. In addition to these, the DOTr will conduct random antigen testing that will be on all volunteering train passengers.
“The random antigen testing of consenting and volunteering passengers is intended to guide us in the adoption of any further needed measures,” said DOTr undersecretary TJ Batan. “Passengers who volunteer to be tested will be permitted to proceed with their trip after testing, and will be informed of their test results by text message.”
As for public utility vehicles, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has issued a memorandum that all buses, jeepneys, and other PUVs should only operate at 70% capacity under Alert Level 3. The DOTr says that any further changes to these guidelines will be subject to guidance of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
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