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Monday, January 3, 2022

Public Transport Remains At 70 Percent Capacity In Metro Manila Amid Alert Level 3

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will maintain a 70 percent cap on passengers for all forms of public utility vehicles. This as the National Capital Region (NCR) has been placed under Alert Level 3 status amid the rise in COVID-19 cases.

In its memorandum issued on January 2, 2022, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) also reminded land-based transportation stakeholders to closely supervise their drivers and conductors, and ensure that they strictly adhere to health protocols, particularly the 70 percent maximum passenger cap.

The LTFRB warned that the non-observance of health protocols onboard public utility vehicles or a violation the 70 percent maximum passenger capacity order are considered violations of franchise conditions. Penalties for violating PUV franchise conditions range from hefty fines to the impounding of the involved PUV.

The LTFRB also warned PUV drivers who will not enforce the 70 percent maximum passenger capacity rule, as well as the strict health protocols in their vehicles, that their driver’s licenses may be suspended. Erring drivers may also face additional criminal complaints.

Meanwhile, the rail sector will maintain its 70 percent passenger capacity. This is to avoid the “bottlenecking” or overcrowding of passengers at stations which may increase the risk of virus transmission.

As part of the heightened implementation of health measures in all rail lines, a random antigen testing of consenting and volunteering passengers will also be done.

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.

Aside from the random antigen testing of passengers, the use of train marshals will be optimized to enforce health protocols inside trains and in stations.

Deployed train marshals will make sure that all passengers will be wearing face masks, and will not talk, eat or make use of mobile phones while inside trains. In addition, the deployed train marshals will also enforce the physical distancing rule inside trains, where applicable, considering the current passenger capacity. However, physical distancing will be strictly enforced in station platforms and in station premises.

The DOTr also ordered the regular disinfection of trains, platforms, stations and depots. He also ordered that contact tracing measures be continued.

Meanwhile, to ensure the safety of all rail facilities, the DOTr has required all rail personnel to undergo antigen testing, pursuant to prevailing protocols of the Department of Health.

Lead Photo courtesy of Carmelo Dado/CNN Philippines

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