Sidecars allowed on highways to augment public transport, says Palace
Sidecars are now allowed to travel on national highways to augment public transportation in the country, which still observes quarantine measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease, Malacañang said on Thursday.
"There is a new policy. Sidecars are now allowed on national highways to augment the lack of transportation now that many areas are under GCQ (general community quarantine) and MGCQ (modified general community quarantine)," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing in Davao City.
Ordinarily, tricycles, pedicabs and other sidecars are not allowed to ply the national highways in order not to affect the flow of traffic and to prevent accidents.
However, with the existing health emergency, the government still barred some modes of public transportation, especially the jeepneys where passengers are facing each other.
Roque said President Rordrigo Duterte has also directed the Department of Transportation to increase the number of bus routes in Metro Manila starting Friday.
In compliance with the directive, he said the DOTr will open three bus routes on Friday and additional three on Monday.
"This is part of the gradual calibrated approach of the DOTr to again open up the public transport," Roque said.
Buses and other modes of public transportation are allowed to operate but limited up to 50 percent capacity and minimum health standards should be observed.
Roque said the DOTr issued new protocols for aviation sector with the observance of minimum health standards.
He said social distancing will be enforced inside an airplane but members of a family traveling together will be allowed to seat beside each other.
All arriving passengers will also be required to answer health declaration and passenger locator forms, he added.
The DOTr has allowed domestic commercial air travels provided that the purpose of the passengers is not for leisure and that the local government units have allowed such flights. Celerina Monte/DMS