Do you take the bus regularly? Chances are you’re probably thinking twice about boarding one now on account of the country’s COVID-19 scare. Sadly, this news isn’t going to help put your mind at ease.
To help halt the spread of the coronavirus, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) released Memorandum Circular No. 2020-005 in February. This requires buses and terminals to take the necessary steps to keep their trips virus-free. The directive specifically requires “all PUV drivers and conductors to properly wear face masks at all times while on duty and for all franchise holders to ensure compliance herewith,” and “all terminal operators to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness in their premises, to provide face masks as well as disinfectant or sanitizer dispensers for free use of passengers.” You can check out the actual document here.
This morning, the LTFRB conducted spot inspections at terminals across Quezon City to see if these facilities are in compliance with the directive. The agency found that out of 12 terminals visited, only one was in full compliance with MC 2020-005. Yikes.
“Enforcers from LTFRB Central Office went to bus terminals in Quezon City to check their compliance to MC 2020-005, such as the maintenance and cleanliness of facilities and the availability of disinfectants and sanitizers, free of use for passengers,” the LTFRB shared in a Facebook post.
“Among the 12 bus terminals initially inspected by LTFRB, only Dominion Bus Lines was found in full compliance with MC 2020-005, even providing vitamins, alcohol, tissue for their drivers and conductors.”
The agency added that only JAC Liner was found to be equipped with a thermometer gun and that other terminals had alcohol and sanitizer available. LTFRB head Martin Delgra III says an amended version of MC 2020-005 with more preventive measures will soon be issued.
Yesterday, the LTFRB announced it will not allow overcrowded public buses to ply Metro Manila’s streets amid the government’s fight against COVID-19. Do you feel that authorities are doing enough to combat the spread of the virus?