Metro Manila is shifting back to general community quarantine (GCQ). Again. This was announced late last night by President Rodrigo Duterte, and comes following two weeks of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after healthcare workers called for a “timeout.”
The return to GCQ means that authorities will loosen up when it comes to the movement of people, with public transportation once again permitted to operate at a limited capacity. This includes the MRT-3, which has announced that 18 train sets will resume trips beginning 5:30am tomorrow, August 19. The last northbound trip from Taft Avenue station will be at 10:11pm, while the last southbound trip will be at 9:10pm from North Avenue.
“Balik-operasyon na ang mga tren ng MRT-3 simula bukas, 19 Agosto 2020, matapos i-anunsyo ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na isasailalim muli sa GCQ ang National Capital Region (NCR),” the train line’s management said in a statement released over social media.
“Nasa 18 train sets, kabilang ang 16 CKD train sets at dalawang Dalian train sets, ang inaasahang tatakbo bukas sa linya ng MRT-3 na magseserbisyo para sa mga pasahero.”
MRT-3 management is stressing that the use of masks and face shields is required when using public transportation under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Memorandum Circular 2020-014. Commuters who fail to wear personal protective equipment will not be allowed to enter the station or board the train. Passengers are also required to maintain a distance of one meter from one another, while speaking or taking calls during rides is prohibited.
Early in July 2020, MRT-3 management was forced to suspend operations and test its workforce after a surge of COVID-19 cases among train line personnel. A total of 186 MRT-3 employees had tested positive for the coronavirus at the time.
Hopefully, we won’t see a repeat of what happened in July. Do you think this is the right move?