LTFRB appeals to commuters to wear face shields, face masks as transport resumes
The chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday appealed to commuters to follow guidelines on wearing face shields as allowed modes of public transportation will again operate after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the National Capital Region and four provinces to shift to general community quarantine (GCQ).
Public transportation was suspended for two weeks after NCR and four nearby provinces were placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) due to the sudden increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a virtual briefing, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said preparations are ongoing for the opening of public transportation on Wednesday.
According to LTFRB, “no face shield, no face mask, no ride” rule will be implemented.
“The new guidelines on the additional requirement on health protocol on the wearing of face shield on all public transport was mandated by the DOTr (Department of Transportation) and not only on land-based public transport but all modes of public transport… so this will be required not only in Metro Manila but all across the country,” Delgra said.
“We would like to appeal to everybody to comply with this public health measures since this is for our health… we would like to appeal to the drivers, operators, especially to the commuters to comply with this,” he said.
Delgra also reminded operators to prepare their vehicles and make sure it is not only road-worthy but also compliant with public health protocols.
He added there will be penalties for drivers and operators if they will allow passengers onboard without face masks and face shields.
Delgra said they will be opening additional routes for jeepneys, vans, and buses in the coming weeks.
“We still continue planning so additional numbers of routes as well as the units will be allowed to run,” said Delgra.
Delgra admitted that drivers and operators who sometimes do not follow their system remains a challenge.
“That’s why we remind both operators and drivers to follow the policy of LTFRB (and) DOTr,” he said.
But he said LTFRB are now better prepared in opening public transportation compared to when they first did it last June.
“I would like to think that what will happen tomorrow will be a quite an improvement than the time we open the public transport last June 1,” he said.
A total of 3, 662 public buses; 364 point-to-point buses; 20, 493 taxis; 23, 776 TNVS; 1, 621 UV express; 716 modern PUV and 12, 443 traditional jeepneys were allowed to operate as early as Wednesday morning. Ella Dionisio/DMS